Date/Time: 08/06/2003 12:00 am
Visit the link below, type in your zip code, and you can passively, within a few minutes have your voice heard. More active will be to print out the letter and send it in yourself.
There will be a vote on a bill on June 19 so if you care about this issue, have your voice heard
Stop Media Monopolization
Urge Congress to Uphold Media Regulation
On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to remove rules put in place to limit concentration of ownership of American news media. However Congress can still act to reverse or mitigate the effects of the FCCs ruling.
The rules safeguard the media against total monopolization by a handful of corporations; among other things, they prevent one broadcast network from owning another broadcast network, limit the number of local broadcast stations that any one broadcaster can own to systems serving 35 percent of the TV-viewing households in the United States, and prohibit ownership of newspapers and TV stations in the same community. If they are lifted or relaxed, business analysts are unanimous in predicting that a wave of media mergers will ensue that will dwarf even the merger mania of the 1990s. If these mergers go forward, cities across the United States will find themselves with one or two companies dominating nearly all of their major media options.
The nation’s largest communications corporation giants used all their lobbying muscle to ram the changes through the FCC, helped along by FCC Commission Michael Powell’s fierce ideological inclination toward deregulation, to win Congressional consent to additional assaults on public-interest protections. A joint statement filed with the FCC by Fox, NBC (Telemundo) and Viacom (CBS) argues that “there is no longer any public-interest need served by the commission’s ownership rules.”
If further media concentration is allowed, the likely stampede of mergers would give a handful of large corporations greater influence over what is – and is not – reported in the news. The public’s ability to have open, informed discussion with a wide variety of viewpoints would be severely compromised.
A healthy democracy is best served by a diverse marketplace of ideas. Tell Congress to preserve media ownership rules for the sake of competition, market fairness and diversity of ideas.