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. Read more »
Back in August, in the midst of protests, BART shut off its cell phone service.
At the time, we said in an editorial that "The bizarre move by BART officials Aug. 11 to shut down cell phone service in the underground train stations made headlines around the world — and for good reason. It was, Wired Magazine reported Aug 15, apparently the first time in United States history that a public agency sought to block electronic communications as a way to prevent a political protest."