Free Press: GAO Exposes Lack of Media Diversity

DECEMBER 17, 2007
12:30 PM

CONTACT: Free Press
Jen Howard, Free Press,
(202)265-1490, x22

GAO Exposes Lack of Media Diversity

WASHINGTON, DC - December 17 -- Today, Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, released an interim report from the Government Accountability Office highlighting the lack of female and minority-owned broadcast stations.

S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press, issued the following statement:

“This report confirms that female and minority media ownership is in a state of crisis — the direct result of the Federal Communications Commission’s failure to uphold its mandate to foster media diversity. The simple fact is that Chairman Kevin Martin’s FCC has never bothered to even count the number of female and minority owners, much less study the impact of media consolidation on ownership levels.

“Nevertheless, Chairman Martin recently admitted to the Senate Commerce Committee that media consolidation likely has a negative impact on minority and female ownership. The idea that the FCC would vote now to scrap the current ownership limits in light of the harm to minority and female owners is an outrage. It is simply impossible to promote ownership diversity and permit further media consolidation at the same time. History will not look kindly on those who attempt to ignore this reality.”

Read the GAO media ownership update: