Legislation and Regulation

Licata on FCC's Proposed Changes

by Nick Licata

Since the 1996 Telecommunications Act deregulated of radio ownership rules we have seen a national trend of massive media consolidation and dramatically decreased competition.

In particular it has damaged local accountability and content diversity,

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Chuck D to Headline March 7 Event

Chuck D to Headline March 7 Event

The FUTURE OF MEDIA: Action for Media Democracy
March 7, 7-10:30pm, Experience Music Project, Seattle

* Chuck D and the Fine Arts Militia
* FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein
* Hard Knock Radio host and Hip Hop journalist Davey D
* US Representative Jim McDermott
* Jenny Toomey of the Future of Music Coalition
* tactical immersion lab by Spaceboat, media action center and more
Free (donations accepted) All Ages

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Green Light Specials on Media Consolidation

If the FCC loosens its rules, will media giants go on a radio-and-TV shopping spree? Absolutely.

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CWA Tells FCC: Preserve Diversity of Information Sources and Ownership

To best preserve the widest possible dissemination and diversity of information to the public, the Federal Communications Commission should safeguard the media from consolidation into fewer hands, Linda Foley, president of The Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America, told FCC commissioners

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Seattle Education Association Opposes Media Deregulation

To be submitted to the FCC by the Seattle Education Association

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KCLC Passes Media Diversity Resolution

At a Feb. 19 meeting, the King County Labor Council passed a resolution calling upon the FCC and Congress to protect media diversity by preventing further industry consolidation.

The KCLC includes several unions representing media industry employees, including AFTRA (radio/TV), the Newspaper Guild/CWA

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FCC to Hold Ownership Hearing in Seattle


FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein will hold a media concentration hearing in Seattle, on March 7. This hearing, and others scheduled in Richmond, Durham and other cities, are intended to solicit public comments on the FCC's current review of media ownership rules which protect localism, content diversity, competition and public access to communications resources.

The Seattle hearing will take place at 9am Friday, March 7 at the HUB Auditorium, University of Washington, and is hosted by the UW's Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology. Three panels will focus on consolidation in radio, consolidation and news, and localism. [panel details here.]

Reclaim the Media and the Seattle Alliance for Media Education will be set up outside before, during and after the hearings with information tables, guest speakers and afternoon workshops. We will also have a soapbox (and microphone) set up outside for those unable to deliver their comments to the FCC in person--we'll record them and submit them on your behalf.

[ Shidler Center for Law, Commerce and Technology ]

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Media Democracy Organizing in Seattle


This spring, the FCC is expected to move boldly ahead towards deregulation of the federal rules which protect local accountability, content diversity and public access in our national media - despite having received thousands of comments opposed to weakening the rules. However, public understanding of the issues is increasing, and along with it, public indignation -- both at the FCC's plans and at the media's failure to report on the important policy debate. Now that the Feb. 3 deadline for filing public comments has passed, media activist attention remains focused on public education - and on pressing for additional Congressional attention to issues of media policy.

In Seattle, a number of media democracy projects are either launching or gaining momentum. Two projects have recently begun at the University of Washington. The Seattle Alliance for Media Education, a program of the Teen Futures Media Network, has begun holding media literacy workshops. The Seattle Political Information Network (SPIN) is a collaboration launched by the Center for Communication and Civic Engagement. At SPIN's first meeting in December, community organizers, journalists and media activists brainstormed about "creating an interactive information and publicity system for community activists and issue advocacy networks." In January, Reclaim the Media launched a biweekly Media Democracy Coffee Club to discuss community media and media policy activism in Seattle. The next coffee club meeting will take place Wednesday, March. 12th, noon-2pm at 1415 2nd Ave. (5th floor meeting room).

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Act Now to Save Media Diversity


The FCC is about to make decisions about the media in this country which could drastically alter the quality and breadth of the news and other media provided to Americans every day. This September, the government agency charged with protecting the public's ability to access diverse information and perspectives via broadcasting and the Internet announced a mammoth review of the rules governing media ownership. The FCCs announcement of a "reexamination" is a euphemistic indication that the Commission's leadership intends to do away with many of those rules, leaving media policy decisions to be shaped by "market forces," that is to say, the financial bottom lines of a handful of multinational corporations.

[ FCC Media Ownership Working Group Studies ]
[statement from the Center for Digital Democracy ]
[ FAIR on Corporate Ownership ]

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What Can We Do?


As the FCC announced their plans to review the ownership rules, a diverse group of activists, journalists and broadcasters met at the Reclaim the Media conference in Seattle, and launched a nationwide Media Diversity campaign to protect those rules from being erased in a reckless fervor. This new collective effort, drawing harnessing resources from prominent media activist organizations from coast to coast, will accelerate the formation of a national grassroots action network for media policy reform. We must all work together to preserve media ownership safeguards which ensure public access to diverse information and opinions through the media.

Talking Back to the Policymakers
The FCC's recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) sets into motion a chain of events which includes a public comment period lasting about two months. During this period, community groups and citizens across the country need to file comments with the FCC, with specific information on how centralized or nonlocal ownership has affected local media. Many small market stations have lost local news departments, traffic or weather reportage. Is your local radio station providing local election coverage? Interviewing the candidates? What community voices are missing? The FCC needs to hear our answers to such questions. Ultimately, the FCC answers to Congress - so write your Senators and Representatives as well?tell them to protect media diversity.

Public Comment
Let the FCC know that you care about media diversity and that your free speech is more important than the corporate giants' free market. Submit your comments to the FCC here.

[ Questions to consider when submitting a comment to the FCC ]
[ Media Alliance ]
[ Media Tank ]

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