Corporate Power/Consolidation

Maryland county 'stunned' by Verizon suit

Summary:

The Montgomery County (Maryland) Council has fired back at Verizon in the wake of the telco's lawsuit charging the county with "unreasonable and illegal" demands in ongoing franchise contract negotiations.

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Representatives should fix the cable industry, not just intervene in Nationals broadcasts

Summary:

Last week, two U.S. House members from Virginia asked the Federal Communications Commission to delay approving a merger between cable television companies Adelphia Communications Corp. and Comcast Corp.

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FCC poised to approve Adelphia sale to rivals

Summary:

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is set on Thursday to approve the sale of bankrupt Adelphia Communications Corp. to rival cable operators Comcast Corp and Time Warner Inc. despite objections from consumer advocates.

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CanWest wants to poach gay magazine's name

Summary:

The Canadian media giant wants a trademark on its magazine called Swerve, even though a Winnipeg gay and lesbian publication with the same name has been operating for almost 12 years.

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Southern California and New England launch independent news councils

Summary:

The Minnesota News Council and the Washington News Council, today announced that Southern California and New England were the winners in a national competition to create two new local news councils.

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Union cuts the cord on Two-Newspaper Seattle committee

by Eric Pryne, Seattle Times

Members of the largest union at Seattle's two daily newspapers reversed course Saturday and voted to cut ties with a citizens' committee that is fighting both newspapers in court.

The 70-38 vote by members of the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Guild is a significant

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Live Nation takes over Clear Channel's concerts

Will Big Cable Get Even Bigger?

Summary:

As Seattle renegotiates its cable service with Comcast, The FCC is currently reviewing its national rules that determine how big cable companies are allowed to become. The two largest providers, Comcast and Time Warner, are seeking FCC approval for their scheme to absorb a third cable company, Adelphia. If the FCC rubber-stamps this deal, Comcast and Time Warner will have unchecked power to raise our rates, restrict and filter our internet use, dictate the channels and programs we see, and limit local and noncommercial programming.

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April 2: All the news that's fit to own

Summary:

"When the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government," Thomas Jefferson famously said. But how well informed are we? In 1983, 50 companies controlled America 's mass media. Today, that number has dwindled to five. How is the concentration of Media ownership affecting the news we hear and what are the implications for the health of our democracy? On April 2, Foolproof's American Voices series presents a panel of high-profile experts discussing these questions at Seattle's Paramount Theater. The lineup: intrepid media scholar Robert McChesney, trailblazing independent journalist Amy Goodman, maverick newspaper publisher Frank Blethen and veteran talk show host Phil Donahue, moderated by Freedom Forum vice president Nancy Maynard. UPDATE: coverage of the panel

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Bill of Media Rights

Bill of Media Rights
Summary:

This winter, national and local Media activist groups from across the country worked together to produce a pithy statement of values for media that serves our democracy. The result is the new Bill of Media Rights, which begins: A free and vibrant media, full of diverse and competing voices, is the lifeblood of America's democracy and culture, as well as an engine of growth for its economy. Set for an official launch this spring, the statement already has the support of organizations representing millions of Americans--demonstrating again that the public demands greater diversity, greater fairness, and greater accountability from our media.

[ Read the Bill of Media Rights ]
[ AFL-CIO endorsement ]

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