Once again, media industry lobbyists and their allies on the Federal Communication Commission are working to revise the rules on media ownership to allow a single corporation to own most, if not all, of the newspapers, radio and TV stations and internet news and entertainment sites in your town.
As John Nichols wrote in The Nation mag recently, “This would create media ‘company towns’ where the discourse is defined by a single newsroom. That means big profits for firms that own the ‘news,’ and big democracy deficits for citizens–which is why 3 million Americans opposed an FCC move to ease ownership limits when the issue arose in 2003.”
Dissident FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein have forced Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, a Republican industry ally, to hold public hearings on proposed policies, as one of many steps they’ve taken to open up the decision-making process. The first official public hearing on media ownership will be held in Los Angeles on Tuesday, October 3 at two venues–the campus of USC and El Segundo High School–with an afternoon and an evening session; there will be an opportunity for public testimony at both sessions.
This is a singular opportunity to let Martin and the FCC Commissioners know how the media is serving your community. This may be one of the public’s final chances to speak out against Big Media before Martin moves to lift the last significant limits to runaway consolidation. Check the Free Press site for background and info on other upcoming public hearings, and click here to write the FCC and implore it to take steps to avoid wholesale consolidation of the US media industry.