Despite the furious efforts of media activists, this past Tuesday the FCC approved new rules that will unleash a flood of media concentration across America. The new rules will further consolidate local media markets and will take away independent voices in cities already woefully short of local news and investigative journalism.
The FCC’s move, as my colleague John Nichols wrote, while very much in line with the Bush’s administration’s radical pro-corporate agenda, goes against every signal the FCC has received from Congress, which is responsible for establishing regulations regarding the ownership of the public’s airwaves. Just two weeks ago, senators from both parties berated FCC Chairman Kevin Martin about his planned big giveaway to Big Media. But Martin then thumbed his nose at both Congress and the public by forging ahead with the vote that legislators had asked him to postpone.
Fortunately, Congress has the power to overturn the rule changes — and if the groundswell of opposition is sufficiently loud, lawmakers will have to listen. The media reform group Free Press has published an open letter urging Congress to take action. Join more than 166,000 of your fellow citizens in signing on to the letter and click here for info on why the stakes are so high in this fight.