Seattle Education Association Opposes Media Deregulation

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Seattle Education Association Resolution on Media Consolidation

WHEREAS . . .
• student access to diverse media content that provides differing points of view and new perspectives is important in supplementing what is learned in classrooms across the country; and

WHEREAS . . .
• educators, too, need access to the free exchange of ideas in the media; and

WHEREAS . . .
• the members of the Seattle Education Association believe that unrestricted access to a wide range of opinion, news and information sources is vital to our democracy; and

WHEREAS . . .
• a continuing concentration of ownership of the broadcast media is a threat as significant to educators as any limitation on access to school libraries or concentration of textbook publishers would be; and

WHEREAS . . .
• the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to move towards deregulation of the federal rules which protect local accountability, content diversity and public access to our national media; and

WHEREAS . . .
• such deregulation could drastically alter the quality and breadth of the news and other media provided to the American public every day; and

WHEREAS . . .
• presently 10 companies already own and control 90 percent of the media outlets in the country; and

WHEREAS . . .
• the United States Supreme Court has said (1945) that "[T]he widest possible dissemination of information from diverse and antagonistic sources is essential to the welfare of the people."; and

WHEREAS . . .
• domination of the media by the few leads to the domination of public opinion of the many on issues of local, national and international import; and

WHEREAS . . .
• the airwaves are a public trust which, without regulation, will allow only the most powerful to be heard, threatening our democracy which depends on an open and diverse media,

Therefore, Be It Resolved That:
• we, the members of the Seattle Education Association, are on record as strongly opposing any changes in the current federal rules that would lead to further restricting public access to a free and open media; and

• the Seattle Education Association shall submit this resolution opposing such changes to the Federal Communications Commission in their hearings on March 7, 2003.

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The media's job is to interest the public in the public interest. -John Dewey