The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Timothy Karr: 201-533-8838,,

FCC Improves Media Ownership Data Collection


The Federal Communications Commission announced sweeping changes to
the way it collects data on female and minority broadcast ownership in
the United States. Free Press research had exposed that the FCC's last
data collection process in 2007 missed more than half of all the radio
stations owned by women and minorities and more than two-thirds of the
television stations.

Free Press' studies -- Out of the Picture and Off the Dial
-- filled in the FCC's gaps with conclusive evidence of the alarming
state of media diversity. While women make up 51 percent of the entire
U.S. population, they own less than 6 percent of all full-power radio
and TV stations. People of color make up 33 percent of the U.S.
population, yet own just 7 percent of the broadcast stations.

Joseph Torres, government relations manager of Free Press, issued the following statement:

"We commend Acting Chairman Copps and the FCC for making these
important improvements to the agency's media ownership data-gathering
practices. The FCC has ignored the disgraceful lack of media diversity
for too long. For years, the FCC has failed to accurately count the
number of minority and female broadcast owners or give any
consideration to the impact of broader media ownership policies.

"Better ownership data is the foundation of better broadcast policy.
An independent, honest and thorough data collection process is a
critical first step toward realizing the goal of a vibrant and
inclusive media landscape."

Free Press was created to give people a voice in the crucial decisions that shape our media. We believe that positive social change, racial justice and meaningful engagement in public life require equitable access to technology, diverse and independent ownership of media platforms, and journalism that holds leaders accountable and tells people what's actually happening in their communities.

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