FCC testimony on media ownership: Dennis Lane

Thank you very much for allowing us to speak today. Thank you for coming here. It really is an example of what government of the people, by the people, for the people should be doing.

A couple years ago, I was at a conference that was talking about systems thinking. There was a director of communications there from ARAMCO, which is one of the big oil companies in Saudi Arabia. He was talking about broadcasting, and one of the interesting things that really jogged me in a luncheon conversation was about localism.

He was expressing how the message -- no matter where it was coming from -- was better rendered out of ARAMCO, where the local people at ARAMCO gave the message. It caused me to think about the message that we are dealing with here… that come into our homes. We get messages from all over -- from the regional and from national and stuff like that. But, it is the local message -- with that face that maybe we know or the voice that certainly rings some kind of true -- that somehow has that local feel to it that can really give us more of the information that we need. In a time and a crisis when fear is the greatest weapon that is being used right now to act or make us not act, I think that having a local voice is a surety… it’s a light in our darkness.

I just want to give a very short thing about – I believe community access to public technology is one of the best things that we need to do and one of the things that we need to work on. I think that putting the public part of broadcast back into its proper place is one of the things we need to do. I also think that, otherwise, we are going to be left with the commercial broadcasting, and we are going to be left with the reality of not the waves that we want.

I just want to turn one second to the community here and say that when you go home or go back to your communities, please bring this message back into the communities. This is what is needed. We need the local reverberation and resonance from our communities to come forth. You people, you have been listening, you are now educated, now go forth. Okay?

article originally published at .

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