Features

Report blasts FCC leaks to lobbyists

Summary:

Consumer advocates have often accused the Federal Communications Commission of favoring big business interests. Now a government investigation appears to back up some of those complaints. A new report from the General Accountability Office criticized the FCC for leaking information about regulatory proceedings to phone and cable company lobbyists before the information was released to the public.

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Copps warns against FCC rush to judgement on media ownership

Summary:

As the FCC prepares to announce the date and location of its final public hearing on media ownership, Commissioner Michael J. Copps observes that the agency is speeding up its examination of new media-ownership rules. He warns that some important questions about minority media ownership and newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership need to be resolved before any rules are proposed.

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The National crisis in minority media ownership

Summary:

Rep. Hilda Solis: The state of minority media ownership in America is in crisis. According to a recent study by Free Press, people of color own just three percent of all local TV stations and eight percent of all local radio stations, even though they make up 35 percent of the U.S. population. In another study, we find that women comprise 51 percent of the entire U.S. population, but only own approximately five percent of all full power broadcast stations. These numbers are shamefully low.

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The secret lobbying campaign your phone company doesn't want you to know about

Summary:

The nation’s biggest telecommunications companies, working closely with the White House, have mounted a secretive lobbying campaign to get Congress to quickly approve a measure wiping out all private lawsuits against them for assisting the U.S. intelligence community’s warrantless surveillance programs.

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Grassroots media activism organizes for power

Summary:

A rising wave of grassroots media activism is linking up with social movements fighting racism, sexism, economic oppression, environmental plunder and war - and organizing to re-center media reform efforts on human rights and social justice. Introducing the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net).

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From the blog

Another media is possible!

Reclaim the Media and many of our friends and allies were in Atlanta June 27-July 1 for the first United States Social Forum, an ambitious meeting of a "movement of movements," modeled upon the World Social Forums held for several years in Porto Alegre, Mumbai, Caracas, Bamako and Nairobi. Thousands of social justice activists are gathering at the forum, uniting many struggles for social, economic and environmental justice with a shared vision of a transformed America in a just and peaceful world. Along with our organizational partners in the Media Action Grassroots Network (MAG-Net), RTM was there spreading the message that there's no justice without media justice.

Check out a list of media-related workshops at the forum. We've posted some USSF photos here.

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Low Power FM expansion comes before the Senate

Summary:

Senators Maria Cantwell and John McCain have introduced a Senate bill to authorize hundreds of local, noncommercial Low Power FM radio stations to communities across the country. A companion bill was introduced in the House. The Local Community Radio Act of 2007 would remove the artificial restrictions imposed on LPFM by a 2000 law passed at the urging of corporate radio giants and NPR, claiming that small community stations would interfere with the signals of larger stations. While these claims were debunked by a taxpayer-funded study in 2002, Congress has not yet acted on those results - denying many communities the opportunity to apply for LPFM stations.

If passed, this bill will pave the way for educational groups, nonprofits, unions, schools and local governments to launch new local radio stations across the country. Get additional details from the Prometheus Radio Project, and express your support for local radio by signing the online petition at ExpandLPFM.org.

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From the blog

CiTR to host Community Radio Conference in Vancouver, June 11-16

CiTR Radio, one of Canada's leading community radio stations is pleased to host the National Campus Community Radio Conference, June 11-16 2007 in Vancouver. CiTR is inviting American community media friends and allies to cross the border and join in this year's conference!

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Independent magazines threatened by proposed postage hike

Summary:

Since the beginnings of the US Postal System, media postage has been subsidized, in recognition of the importance of journalism to democracy. Now, as media scholar Robert McChesney revealed this week, the Post Office is preparing to radically reformulate its mailing rates for magaines - dramatically increasing rates for small magazines. (Larger magazines will be less affected--not surprising, since the new rates were devised by the country's largest magazine publisher, Time Warner.) The rate hike, planned so far without public input, will threaten the existence of many small and mid-sized magazines.

We have a short window to keep from getting railroaded by this corporate-backed rate hike. Visit www.stoppostalratehikes.com to send the Postal Board a message, or read on for more information.

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From the blog

Northwest Progressive Conference, April 19-21

Eastern Washington will be the place to be April 19-21, as Washington State University in Pullman hosts the Northwest Progressive Conference. The conference provides a weekend of panel presentations, screenings, performances and workshops, focused on a variety of social change topics, including media, militarism, the environment, immigration, women's issues and racial justice.

Keynote speakers include two of our favorite independent media activists: Ruckus Society director Adrienne Maree Brown and the Oakland-based political artist Favianna Rodriguez. Media-related panel topics include Environment and media, Hip hop activism, Culture jamming, Grassroots radio, and 'Beyond reporting the news.' Conference attendance is free. Read the complete conference schedule and other information here!

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