For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

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

Democracy Depends on Diverse Media, Senators Say

WASHINGTON - Today, a bipartisan group of senators sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission
Chairman Julius Genachowski reminding him that the Senate continues to
be concerned about the dangers of media consolidation. Sens. Byron
Dorgan, Maria Cantwell and Olympia Snowe urged Chairman Genachowski to
avoid the missteps of previous FCC chairmen, and to ensure that the
public's access to diverse, competing, local and accountable media
outlets remains protected.

"The strength of our democracy depends on a citizenry
informed by local and diverse voices in our media. While Americans
increasingly seek out news online, local newspapers and broadcast
stations continue to be the dominant source of news and information. As
you consider future action, we urge you not to forget the Senate's
interest in maintaining the public interest goals of localism,
diversity, and competition in our media," the senators wrote.

Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright commended the
bipartisan letter:

"The threat of media consolidation is not a left or right
issue - it is a public interest issue. All communities, large and small,
deserve diverse, competing and independent local media. The FCC media
ownership rules provide crucial safeguards against the consolidation of
media sources in the hands of a few companies, and maximize the
provision of diverse ideas and competing viewpoints. We encourage the
Commission to tighten media ownership rules to protect the public'
access to diverse information."

In May, the FCC issued a Notice of Inquiry seeking comment
on its media ownership rules as part of the agency's statutory
requirement to review its rules every four years. Free Press has
submitted extensive FCC filings demonstrating that media
consolidation adversely affects the provision of local news from diverse
sources. Consolidation also raises barriers to entry for new and
independent media owners, including women and people of color.


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Link to Letter:

Link to "Out of the Picture: Minority and Female TV Station
Ownership in the United States":

Link to "Off the Dial":

Link to Free Press' filing in the 2010 FCC Quadrennial


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