FCC testimony on media ownership: Jennifer Power

I’m Jennifer Power. I happen to work for Action Northwest -- a local activist group and support network -- and drawing on some of the points the community members have made, we recognize that activists aren’t reported and so we are putting together Revolutions Per Minute (RPM), a multi-media project that reports on the activities of activists and activist groups in Seattle and around the state.
This is actually a side note to my statement. I’m reading a statement for a friend and colleague, Chris Luminar, who couldn’t make it tonight. I’m also reading it because I whole-heartedly agree with it. It concerns the legal fact that airwaves belong to the people and the importance of this fact to the health of American democracy.

‘Dear Mr. Copps and Mr. Adelstein, as a citizen of the United States, I’m continually frustrated by what I see as the FCC giving away our media right-of-way to corporate giants. My specific complaint is this: why do politicians have to pay media content providers for advertising time? These are public airwaves and they are being held hostage to the highest bidder. Despite my constitutionally protected right to run for office, I can’t run because I can’t generate the massive funds required to pay for TV and radio ads.’

‘In addition, politicians are being forced to spend most of their time in office raising funds for future advertising instead of governing and listening to their constituency. I propose that we allot equal radio and TV time to each recognized candidate for state and federal office, and not allow them to purchase any additional radio and TV ads. This will solve both problems at once, making running for office a possibility for those with less means and also allowing our politicians to do their jobs instead of fundraising all the time. As a bonus, I expect our politicians will be more accountable to we, the people, and less accountable to their bottom lines. Sincerely, Chris Luminar.’

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