Features

Public Comments Overwhelmingly Support Media Diversity

Public Comments Overwhelmingly Support Media Diversity
Summary:

Fewer than one percent of public comments received by the FCC support loosening media ownership restrictions; the vast majority of comments were submitted by individual citizens opposed to deregulation. This has been confirmed by a survey conducted by the Future of Music Coalition and Free Press, tabulating all comments available on the FCC website. "Reading the comments in this docket has been both inspiring and disheartening," said FMC's Director of Research Kristin Thomson. "Many citizens express a growing dissatisfaction with the trends in their local media, and insist that the FCC show a genuine commitment to localism, competition and diversity. But it's also frustrating to know that, even with the vast majority of comments expressing decisive opposition to the rule changes, citizens' voices seem to be falling on deaf ears."

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Seattle FCC Hearing 2003: Listen Now!

Summary:

[Note: recordings of Seattle's Nov. 2006 FCC Hearing can be found here.]

March 7, 2003's Seattle FCC Hearing on media ownership and the companion event Shaping the Media Landscape of Seattle attracted a participating audience of around 350. Over 800 turned out that evening for The Future of Media: Action for Media Democracy. The overwhelmingly anti-consolidation character of public comments is making a strong impression on FCC decisionmakers, and may turn the tide of this debate as hearings continue. Listen now to streaming recordings from these Media Democracy events on Seattle.

From the FCC Hearings on Media Ownership:
* General Introduction from Commissioners Copps and Adelstein (download)
* Panel 1: Effects of Consolidation on News (download)
* Panel 2: Effects of Consolidation on Music and Radio (download)
* Panel 3: Effects of Consolidation on Localism (download)
* Public Comments (download)

From Shaping the Media Landscape in Seattle:
* Networks in the Information Age panel

From The Future of Media: Action for Media Democracy:
* Congressman Jim McDermott's comments

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Chuck D to Headline March 7 Event

Chuck D to Headline March 7 Event
Summary:

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

featuring:
* 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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Media Democracy Week is March 16-22

Summary:

Over a million people nationwide are involved in creating community television. The Alliance for Community Media, representing over 1,000 Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) access organizations and community media centers throughout the country, will be holding its national conference in Tacoma, Washington, July 9-12. Conference participants are expected from at least seven countries. In preparation for this event, community media advocates in Seattle have asked the city government to proclaim March 16-22 Media Democracy Week. Expect special coverage on SCAN (Seattle Community Access Network) and other special events to be announced.

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FCC to Hold Ownership Hearing in Seattle

Summary:

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

Summary:

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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Reclaiming the Airwaves

Summary:

Seattle microradio activists have launched a participatory, distributed broadcasting project: the Community Access Microradio Production Facility for Independent Radical Expression (CAMPFIRE). Programming is webcast from a studio being built within the Seattle IMC, and broadcast on unused second-adjacent frequencies from a number of micropower FM stations in several neighborhoods.

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Act Now to Save Media Diversity

Summary:

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?

Summary:

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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Rocky Mountain Media Democracy Tour

Summary:

Fresh from the successes of the Reclaim the Media community media convergence in Seattle this September, the journalist/activists of Reclaim the Media are hitting the road this month with a Media Democracy educational tour of the Rocky Mountain states.

Passing through Washington, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico, RTM educators are building networks with local media activists throughout the mountain time zone for citizen action on current trends in national media policy, how out-of-control consolidation in media ownership affects what we see, read and hear, and how citizens can influence the way important policy decisions are made.

Our travels end at the Action Coalition for Media Education Conference in Albuquerque, Oct 18-20.

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