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CONTACT: Free Press
Jenn Ettinger, 202-265-1490 x 35
FCC Holds Public Hearing on Media Ownership
Free Press Urges More Public Hearings on Media in Digital Age
In addition to the public workshops the FCC has held to date, the Commission is expected to soon issue a Notice of Inquiry soliciting public comment and research to inform its review of current ownership rules.
“The FCC is facing significant pressure by big media companies to dramatically weaken media ownership rules and allow them to control even more local media,” said Corie Wright, Free Press policy counsel. “Free Press urges the Commission to hold additional hearings after it has issued its Notice of Inquiry, so members of the public can continue to weigh in on the impact of media consolidation in their communities.”
“People still get most of their news from local broadcasters and newspapers. Allowing more media consolidation will mean more job losses and shuttered newsrooms. When major stories go uncovered – or are only covered from a single perspective -- our democracy suffers,” Wright said.
These workshops have reinforced the importance of media ownership rules in promoting diversity and competition in local media markets. The rules govern the number of broadcast outlets one company can own in a single media market, and are intended to promote access to diverse voices and viewpoints, prevent undue concentration of power, and encourage competition.
"When the same old media players control most of the news and information that people access online, the promise of the Internet is an empty one,” said Brandy Doyle, regulatory policy associate with the Prometheus Radio Project. In allowing huge corporations to take over more and more media outlets, deregulation of media ownership will make it even harder for innovative news models to survive, online or off. Communities need access to a diversity of news sources."
Panelists for the public workshop include Tim Westergren, founder, Pandora Music; Eddy W. Hartenstein, publisher and CEO, the Los Angeles Times; Jim Joyce, president, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, and vice president, Communications Workers of America; and Alan Mutter, publisher. The full agenda can be found here: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/