Posted 6 months ago on Nov. 21, 2012, 9:42 a.m. EST by zacherystaylor
This content is user submitted and not an official statement
According to Democracy Now the FCC is considering easing restrictions on the concentration of the media that were previously rejected.
FCC Set to Ease Media Consolidation Rules
The Federal Communications Commission appears poised to push through relaxed media consolidation rules that a federal appeals court has previously overturned. A statement from FCC chair Julius Genachowski has called for a vote to "streamline and modernize media ownership rules, including eliminating outdated prohibitions on newspaper-radio and TV-radio cross-ownership." The move appears to be an effort to restore provisions struck down last year that made it easier for a company to own a newspaper and a broadcast outlet in a single market. In a statement, the media reform group Free Press criticized the new effort, saying: "The FCC’s headlong rush to push through these policies behind closed doors shows a blatant disregard for its own public interest mandate and the court’s clear instructions."
Free Press Blasts FCC for Plan to Gut Ownership Rules Without Public Input or Transparency
WASHINGTON -- On Monday, Free Press slammed the Federal Communications Commission’s proposal to further weaken media ownership rules. The FCC has kept most details under wraps, but reports indicate the plan would allow cross-ownership of newspaper and TV stations in the 20 largest broadcast markets. Other rule changes would allow for greater radio consolidation.
The FCC is also reportedly attempting to avoid holding a vote on the matter at an open FCC meeting, and the agency has not held any public hearings on the proposed rule changes.
The rules are similar to those proposed by then-FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in 2007. Martin’s rules were later overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In its decision, the court directed the FCC to study the impact of its rule changes on ownership diversity — something the agency has failed to do. Nearly 40 percent of the U.S. TV stations owned by people of color are located in the 20 largest markets, raising concerns that Chairman Genachowski's proposal would lead to even lower levels of minority broadcast ownership.
Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron made the following statement:
“Chairman Genachowski’s attempt to overhaul longstanding media ownership limits is little more than a gift-wrapped giveaway to Rupert Murdoch. Recycling the Bush administration’s failed policies not only ignores the will of the courts and Congress but is a slap in the face of the 99 percent of Americans who oppose further media consolidation.
“It’s shameful that this administration has chosen to ignore the public without ever facing them. Chairman Genachowski hasn’t attended a single public hearing on this proposal. In the previous administration, Chairman Kevin Martin held at least seven public hearings across the country attended by all five commissioners.
“It’s baffling that the FCC is even considering rushing to vote on this warmed-over proposal. The Third Circuit made it crystal clear that the agency must study the impact of any rule changes on broadcasting opportunities for women and people of color. The FCC hasn’t done anything like this.
"The existing data show increasing consolidation crowds out female and minority owners, who tend to be smaller businesses that own just a single station. Does the FCC actually think that increasing consolidation will help achieve President Obama's goal of greater ownership diversity?
"The FCC's headlong rush to push through these policies behind closed doors shows a blatant disregard for its own public interest mandate and the court's clear instructions."
They tried this before under George W Bush in 2003 and there was a major uproar; it appears as if they may be counting on people being more complacent with Obama especially after they gave him what they portray as a mandate even though it was based on a rigged system that withheld information from the public. This seems to indicate that tehy will keep on trying until either we have major reform that lets them know we will hold them accountable or they succeed or the public makes it clear that they will always be watching for these scams.
This should be further evidence to the public that they should be relying more on alternative media outlets, and a variety of them too. This wasn't reported much if at all in the corporate press any more than they reported it the last time they tried to pull this scam.