FCC testimony on media ownership: Kenneth Meyer

I am Kenneth Meyer, citizen 34, which is unfortunately not my age. Some […] said -- before the Commissioner repeated it today -- that network TV news amounts to murder, sports, and weather. Well, I don’t think it matters much who provides this non-controversial and least-common denominator stuff. People have complained about homogenized news, but in point of fact, we have the customary set of network stations in this town owned by different entities and, still, how much difference is there between them? Very little, as far as I can see.

Well, how can we force them to be different? I mean, at least until I become emperor and reconstitute the guillotine. I see no alternative, really, but to write them off. We need to do it ourselves. We need to prevent larger broadcasters of any ilk from encroaching on the bandwidth (that should be dedicated to local and community programming) by either increasing their power to expand their covered area or confiscating of frequency entirely -- which has been attempted in this state several times recently.

Community radio and low power FM stations provide a focused approach to news analysis and local issues; the fact is that we are undergoing an unprecedented revolution -- often compared to the reinvention of the printing press. As the country finally enters the world of multi-megabit networks, the opportunity for new sources of information proliferates. Where you can see this is going is that the internet is going to provide this. Other people have denied that it will, but I believe that it will, and that as the internet matures, we will have more and more use of it. Newspapers will migrate to the internet more and more as they have started to now.

So, the real danger is that entities that provide the network access also provide the content and so the bottom line to me is network neutrality will go a long way to saving public participation in the media. Thank you.

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