FCC and media consolidation (NOT)

Elias Sinderson elias at cse.ucsc.edu
Thu Sep 11 17:09:03 PDT 2003

There's been some discussion of FoRK regarding the FCCs new rules 
regarding media consolidation and ownership. As such, I thought the 
enclosed would be of some interest. I, for one, am pleased by these 
recent events, as I was by the courts decision to put a hold on 
implementing the new rules. IIRC, there was an unprecedented amount of 
feedback from the public opposing the new rules, but Powell went ahead 
and pushed them through anyway...


FoRKed from <http://www.mediareform.net/newsprint.php?id=1117>

Senators Lott and Dorgan hold news conference calling for rollback of 
FCC media consolidation rules

 From Free Press <http://www.mediareform.net>, September 11, 2003
Millions Contact Congress: Over 300,000 Signatures to Oppose FCC Action 
Are Delivered

Today, Senators Trent Lott (R-MS) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced new 
bipartisan opposition to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) 
rules that allow further concentration of media ownership. The Senators' 
announcement comes as the Senate debates a Resolution of Disapproval, 
sponsored by the pair, which would repeal all of the new FCC rules. A 
vote is expected Monday.

Joining the Senators' call for a rollback of the FCC rules is a diverse 
group of consumer and citizens groups, as well as a growing tide of 
public support -- more than 340,000 signatures were gathered in recent 
weeks from MoveOn.org supporting a reversal, and another 300,000 
postcards were sent recently by members of the National Rifle 
Association to the FCC.

"The mega-media corporations have demonstrated a clear and undeniable 
pattern of abuse and contempt for local community decency standards. A 
vote to give these corporations more power is a vote to censor 
independent community voices across this nation. We call upon both 
houses of Congress to rebuff the FCC's June 2 decision," said Brent 
Bozell, president of the Parents Television Council.

"We've gathered 340,000 signatures, with 200,000 of them coming in just 
two days," said Eli Pariser, campaigns director for MoveOn.org. "That's 
the fastest response rate we have ever had. Americans are demanding that 
Congress protect their interests, not the special interests."

The Senate vote comes on the heels of a victory in the Third Circuit 
Court, which ordered a stay on the implementation of the FCC rules. The 
stay allows Congress time to act before irreversible harm is done. The 
FCC rules will come under fire again during the Commerce, Justice, State 
(CJS) Senate appropriations process at the end of September, when 
Senators will decide whether to join their House colleagues, who 
overwhelmingly voted to oppose the FCC's decision.

"What can't get lost in this debate is the importance of not only 
protecting the national television ownership cap, but also maintaining 
the ban on newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership," said Free Press 
President Robert McChesney. "If we lose that, we lose the localism and 
diversity required by a representative democracy."

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