Features

Martin races ahead with plan to ditch cross-ownership ban

Summary:

On the first business day after 1100 people turned out for the FCC's last public hearing on media ownership, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin announced his proposal to allow media companies to combine broadcast stations and newspapers in the twenty largest cities in the US. The move flies in the face of overwhelming public opposition to weaking the cross-ownership rule, and the timing clearly demonstrates that Martin planned the FCC's recent fly-by-night public hearings in DC and Seattle as window-dressing, rather than as actual public process.

What's the next move? The five-member FCC must now vote to approve or reject Martin's proposal. Anticipating Martin's move, several Senators have introduced a bipartisan bill which would put the brakes on the FCC's illegitimate and anti-democratic process.

Take Action Now to tell Congress to put the brakes on Martin's public process train wreck!

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In Seattle, 1100 stand up for media diversity in marathon hearing

photo: Jake WargaAdvocates of diverse media, local media accountability, and quality journalism are seeing Friday's FCC media ownership hearing as a triumph. Over 1100 people attended the nine-hour marathon hearing, making it the largest of six such meetings designed to gather public opinion, as the FCC considers proposals to let big media companies buy up even more local TV and radio stations.

The five Commissioners attending the hearing stayed onstage at Seattle's Town Hall until 1am listening to passionate pleas to reject further media consolidation. A diverse range of northwesterners from five states stepped forth to testify -- despite the fact the hearing was announced just five business days in advance. Nearly everyone who spoke opposed deregulation, following a pattern established at previous hearings.

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Final FCC Media Ownership hearing at Town Hall Seattle

Summary:


LATE UPDATE: The Seattle FCC hearing was a phenomenal event. Over 1100 people from across the Northwest kept the Commissioners in their chairs from 4pm until 1am with articulate, often impassioned testimony opposing further ownership deregulation. More info after we get some sleep!

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has announced plans to hold the final public hearing on media ownership on Friday, Nov. 9 at Seattle's Town Hall, giving the Northwest an unbelievable five business days to prepare for the hearing. The rushed hearing is part of Martin's plan to fast-track changes to the rules by mid-December. The hearing will be the only chance for Northwest residents to weigh in on proposals that would allow giant media companies to grow even more concentrated.

FCC Public Hearing on Media Ownership
4pm-11pm, Nov. 9 2007
Town Hall Seattle, Great Hall
1119 Eighth Avenue

The FCC has now released a detailed schedule for the event.

Town Hall directions and parking info

Read on for more information, a summary of the rules at stake, and addtional resources.

Spread the word - email your friends
Downloadable information

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Cantwell, Inslee demand reasonable notice before Seattle FCC hearing

Summary:

On Friday afternoon, Senator Maria Cantwell and Representative Jay Inslee sent a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin requesting that his office provide at least four weeks' notice before the date of the Seattle media ownership hearing. Martin responded by scheduling the hearing just five business days in advance.

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Broad range of public concerned about media consolidation, poll finds

Summary:

A new poll released by the Media and Democracy Coalition shows that a broad majority of the public opposes allowing a single company to own newspapers, TV and radio stations in the same community. Across political, ethnic and generational divides, the poll finds, the public has greater trust in local news than in consolidated media outlets. Local ownership is currently threatened by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's plans for greater consolidation.

Source:

www.media-democracy.net

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

Summary:

It's no exaggeration to say that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin waited until the last moment to announce an Oct. 31 localism hearing, to take place at FCC Headquarters in Washington, DC. The announcement, made after business hours Wednesday, gives the public less than a week's notice to prepare or even make plans to attend the hearing.

While rumors of Nov. 2 persist, the FCC still has not released a date for its final hearing on media ownership in Seattle. Amidst reports that Martin is rushing to eliminate longstanding media ownership limits before the end of this year, the latecoming announcement of the DC hearing strongly suggests that Martin's goal is to exclude public opinion rather than bring it into the process.

Source:

Free Press statement

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From the blog

Seattle Rocks the Net: Matt Nathanson at the Crocodile, Oct. 30

On Oct. 30, independent rocker Matt Nathanson will stand up for Internet freedom and Net Neutrality as he takes the stage at Seattle's Crocodile Café (8:30pm, all ages). It's part of a national campaign to Rock The Net: bands and musicians joining forces to keep the Internet free and open!

The show is presented by Reclaim the Media, the Future of Music Coalition, and the ACLU of Washington.

On the afternoon of the show, Rep. Jay Inslee joined Matt Nathanson for a telephone press conference on Net Neutrality. Also on the call were Nabil Ayers (Sonic Boom Records), Michael Bracy (Future of Music Coalition) and Jonathan Lawson (Reclaim the Media). Listen to the press conference. (mp3)

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Consumer groups close the case against cross-ownership

Summary:

Consumer groups filed thousands of pages of comments Monday night blasting the FCC for its “inconsistent, incompetent and incoherent” attempts to skew official research in support of Chairman Kevin Martin’s dubious but foregone conclusions about media consolidation.

The groundbreaking research uses the FCC’s own data to show how ownership limits protect the quantity and quality of local news. The new study dismantles claims that removing the ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership would increase local news. In reality, cross-ownership results in a net loss in the amount of local news produced across local broadcast markets.

Read the summary or the full comments.

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Reclaim the Media Community Media Film Festival: Oct 21-23

Summary:

Reclaim the Media is proud to present a fistful of new documentaries at the intersection of community media, social justice activism and participatory democracy. Our mini-film festival also includes a public workshop on community radio, and a panel discussion on the future of grassroots participatory media.

Screenings include the Seattle premiere of Pirate Radio USA, an award-winning documentary by Jeff Pearson and Mary Jones; Un Poquito de Tanta Verdad, Jill Freidberg's new film on the recent uprising in Oaxaca; and the Seattle premiere of Paper Tiger Reads Paper Tiger TV, a 25-year retrospective look at the groundbreaking public access TV show out of New York. Read more for details!

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From the blog

Making Waves: Radio For Radicals Oct. 21

Low-power FM radio demystified! In this hands-on workshop (4:30-8:30pm, Sunday, Oct. 21 at Seattle's 2020 Cycle), you’ll get a basic overview of how radio works and a chance to set up a station and go on air. You can build a microtransmitter or learn how to use free software to put together a radio program. Meet trainers from Chicago's Radios Populares, see how accessible media technology can be and dream about the possibilities in your community. No experience necessary. Limited to 30 participants. Read more for registration details!

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