The Media Alliance, a local media watchdog group leading the media consolidation battles, says in an SOS message that the Federal Communications Commission is once again trying to jam through new rules during the Christmas rush to facilitate more media consolidation. The FCC, the Alliance points out, "touts localism, competition and diversity as the hallmarks of a healthy media ecosystem. This rule change guts all three." Here is the Alliance's action alert (b3):
New proposed rules relax media cross-ownership rules (again) paving the way for more media concentration and polishing the path for the Rupert Murdochs of the world to buy up everything that's left.
In the now-familiar holiday season hurry-up employed by federal agencies when they want to sneak something through before the public has a chance to get outraged about it, FCC commissioner Julius Genachowski has proposed a relaxation of the media cross-ownership rules remarkably similar to Kevin Martin's try at increasing media consolidation several years ago.
What can you do?
Tell the Democratic commissioners they need to fight this and that as a member of the public, you have their back if they publicly oppose the Christmas rush to media consolidation today - December 4th National Day of Action:
Mignon Clyburn - (202) 418-2100
Jessica Rosenworcel - (202) 418-2400
And then send a tweet @fcc no xmas sneak #mediajustice
The relaxation permits the same corporation to own print, radio and television outlets in the top 20 communication markets in the US, condemning urban populations to canned and repetitive news and information, especially those who depend heavily on free over-the-air broadcasts.
The FCC is trying to jam these rules through during the holiday siesta to avoid the outpouring of public protest engendered during the last attempt at relaxing the rules, when the FCC received the largest quantity of public comments in their history and eventually lost in court and rescinded the attempted rule change.
The FCC was ordered to do research into impact on the diversity of media ownership, particularly by women and minorities. Despite completing a comprehensive whose initial results indicate little to no improvement in increasing ownership diversity and not completing a full impact report on the mounds of ownership data received in the quadrennial report, the FCC seems to be determined to move ahead with the rule change in an evidence-free zone.
The FCC touts localism, competition and diversity as the hallmarks of a healthy media ecosystem. This rule change guts all three.
Politifact ranks Obama's promise to foster media diversity as a broken promise:
Article: FCC Abandons Media Diversity:
Seattle Times editorial:
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