The FCC's Republican Chairman Kevin Martin has effectively handed a sweetheart deal to Big Media, by overturning a 32-year-old rule that prevents a newspaper owner from also owning a radio or television station in the same city. Democratic commissioner Johnathan S. Adelstein called the new rule
"a monumental mistake" and, with Copps, called it a gift to media companies that will enable consolidation and restrict the diversity of voices on the airwaves."When the idea of more media consolidation was put before Americans - during a series of public hearings and requests for public comment - more than 99 percent said bigger media were bad for them, bad for their communities and bad for our democracy.
Can you remember the last time 99 percent of Americans agreed on anything?
The CWA and AFTRA had called for a 90-day comment period after publication of the proposal in the Federal Register and also ask for an "open process" to address localism and diversity, that was not done and both unions have released statements expressing their disappointment. Media Access Project - which represented Prometheus Radio Project and other groups in the lawsuit that ultimately led to the overturning of the FCC's 2003 media-ownership rules revision -- says it will go to court again. MAP President/CEO Andrew Jay Schwartzman said,
"Today's action is far more radical, and much more outrageous, than what [FCC] Chairman[Kevin] Martin proposed just a few weeks ago. He has caved in to lobbying from the media giants, giving a pass to them so they can retain TV and radio stations they were supposed to have divested months and years ago."Thanks to the AFL-WeBlog, being on top of things they have pointed out a coalition made up of groups across the country that have banded together to stop a small handful of giant corporations from dominating America's media system. That group is Stop Big Media and I urge you to send this E-Mail to your Senator asking that the ruling be overturned.
Free Press Action Network