The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Liz Rose, Communications Director, 202-265-1490 x 32

Free Press: Consumer Voice Missing from FCC Media Ownership Panel

Industry Reps Dominate Panel, Gloss Over Harms of Media Consolidation


Today, the Federal Communications Commission held a workshop on
financial and economic issues affecting the media industry for the
agency's 2010 quadrennial review proceeding on media ownership. While
the agency has encouraged public participation, today's panel did not
include any representatives from consumer or labor groups.

Corie Wright, Free Press policy counsel, made the following statement:

"The vast majority of today's panelists overlooked the critical
point that media consolidation is the problem -- not the answer -- to
the crisis in journalism and throughout the media industry.

"Industry representatives have been eager to point to further
consolidation as the solution to the journalism crisis. But many of
these companies have bought up too many properties and are slashing
jobs while spending their money on debt collectors rather than

"We hope the FCC will be more inclusive of consumer and public
interest advocates in all aspects of the media ownership proceeding --
especially in financial discussions where industry execs have only
their own interest to protect."

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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