Final FCC Media Ownership hearing at Town Hall Seattle

Reclaim the Media will host a series of workshops providing information on media ownership issues, and to help you and your friends prepare to testify at the upcoming FCC hearing in Seattle.

Media Ownership: Why It's Important

We have access to more TV channels, radio stations, and Internet choices then ever before - but that doesn't mean we have a greater variety of entertainment, news and information. That's because much of what we see, hear, and read is under the control of a handful of large companies - who care more about boosting stock values, reaping advertising dollars and schmoozing government officials than about serving the interests of the public.

In order for our democracy to work for everyone, we need a media system with democratic values. That means access for a wide range of voices and opinions, programming that encourages civic participation, quality journalism that's protected from manipulation by commercial interests, and support for emerging arts and music.

Highly concentrated media works against all of these concerns - replacing local with national voices, catering to the largest or wealthiest demographic groups at the expense of others, placing commercialization above community-building, deprioritizing good journalism, and homogenizing music and arts programming.

The Federal rules limiting concentration of media outlets are an integral part of our first amendment and fourth amendment freedoms, guaranteeing our rights to free speech, to hear others' free speech, and to have a free and independent press, capable of holding powerful institutions accountable to the public interest. In recent years, these rules have been under attack by corporations like Clear Channel, Tribune, and Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., for whom bigger is always better. They get to use the public airwaves for free, but they don't want to be held accountable to local communities or public service values.

The upcoming media ownership hearing is our opportunity to tell the FCC that the public interest matters more than corporate greed. Attend the hearing and one of Reclaim the Media's prep workshops (times and locations will be updated on this page). Plan to speak your mind - together we can make a difference, and hold big media accountable!

WHAT'S AT STAKE: The Rules and the Issues

The media ownership rules at stake (FCC official site)

Civil Rights and Minority Voices: This study by Free Press shows how consolidation has kept the doors of TV access closed to people of color.

Independent Music and Radio: Radio ownership consolidation has made radio less local, less diverse, less accessible to emerging artists and less accountable to audiences. This report from the Future of Music Coalition has the details.

The Impact on Washington State: Eliminating the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban would pave the way for conglomerates to dominate the media landscape in both large and small cities across our state - and the US. Read the details in this report.

Printable Materials:

Seattle Hearing flyer (pdf)
Bigger Media, Bad Idea (pdf)
Media Control is Not a Partisan Issue (pdf)

This page will be continually updated with more information and resources.

article originally published at .

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