What the FCC? DC gets less than a week's notice on localism hearing

Democratic Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein responded with this statement:

"Tonight’s Public Notice doesn’t bode well for the future of the Commission’s localism and media ownership proceedings. Over two weeks ago, we agreed to clear our calendars for the possibility of a localism hearing in Washington on Oct 31st. But neither we nor the public received any confirmation that the hearing would occur until tonight—just 5 business days before the event. This is unacceptable and unfair to the public. And it makes putting together an expert panel nearly impossible.

"Is the Commission serious about allowing the public to participate in the agency’s decision-making? Or is the goal to be able to claim that hearings have been held, even if the public has not had a chance to fully participate?"

Free Press Executive Director Josh Silver issued the following statement:

"How can you have a hearing on localism without giving the local community time to find out it is happening? Chairman Martin's actions suggest that he's never been serious about paying attention to the public. He's already made up his mind, and is hell-bent on gutting the rules.

"This is a slap in the face to the vast majority of Americans who oppose consolidation and a direct insult to the bipartisan members of Congress who have called for a fair and transparent public process. The chairman is ignoring the undeniable evidence that media consolidation has a devastating impact on local news and diversity.

"It feels like deja vu all over again. Chairman Martin is repeating the same mistakes that ignited a firestorm of opposition four years ago. He may not want to listen to the countless Americans who are sick and tired of a broken media system -- but they will be heard."

article originally published at .

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