So the FCC might let me be...
May 14, 2003 5:40 PM   Subscribe

So the FCC might let me be... On June 2, FCC commissioners will vote on proposed changes to U.S. media ownership rules. Proponents of eliminating a ban on "cross ownership" argue that mergers between local newspapers and radio and TV stations in large and medium-sized markets will boost the quality and quantity of local news reportage. The nonprofit Consumers Union calls the ban "critical to the independence and diversity of our nation's media". Let the FCC know where you stand (third item on list).
posted by Bixby23 (15 comments total)
I'm not sure if I'm suprised or not, but, I just checked Lexis...did a search for "fcc and ownership" for the past 6 months on ABC, CBS, NBC, and CNN.... one hit, from CBS Morning News (6:30 AM ET), May 13, 2003, 50 words. NPR has 4 stories.

Should we be shocked those who are pushing hardest for the rules seem to be keeping their viewers in the dark?
posted by Blake at 5:50 PM on May 14, 2003

the only people who benefit from these rule changes are the very large media conglomerates - FOX and Rupert Murdoch are the biggest backers of these sham rule changes being put into effect by the not the sharpest tack on the block smirking powell who is firmly in Murdoch's pocket.

ted turner had some excellent thoughts on the issue today at the california commonwealth club. required listening for some excellent entertainment, if not the comments on the media merger
posted by specialk420 at 6:02 PM on May 14, 2003

Always check the snopes.
posted by woil at 6:33 PM on May 14, 2003

have we really become so ill-informed that people think this is just an urban legend? cripes.
posted by jann at 6:40 PM on May 14, 2003

Did it! Now I'm a bonafide clicktivist. I knew taking typing in summer school would come in handy.
posted by hairyeyeball at 7:16 PM on May 14, 2003

jann -
Whenever I get anything in my email box (which I did about this thing this very day) I always google it, and snopes is always on top of the list. Snopes did have some good stuff to say about it as a counter-argument to the main sight. And yes, its good to check these things as people *are* so ill-informed because they often pass on *ill* information.
posted by woil at 8:29 PM on May 14, 2003

Thanks, Bixby23, for the FCC "comment" link -- you bet I registered my opinion -- I wholeheartedly support the plan to lift the POINTLESS ban on ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in large markets.
posted by davidmsc at 9:31 PM on May 14, 2003

Sure thing, davidmsc.

I didn't mean to sound as if I was suggesting "oppose this issue or you're a dodohead," but I wasn't particularly careful about my wording and my personal bias certainly comes through.

The reason for posting this in the first place was out of concern for the absence of any real debate on the issue. I believe there is relatively little discussion about the FCC's June 2 vote because the primary supporters of eliminating the ban also control the main channels of information in America, and from their perspective, the less said on the matter, the better. That's not a good enough reason to oppose overturning the ban, but it ought to make people suspicious.
posted by Bixby23 at 10:03 PM on May 14, 2003

okay. fair enough. being a college DJ, I try to pay attention to these things and had heard about it a couple months ago. it was also covered by salon and the new york times has editorialized on it too.
posted by jann at 10:24 PM on May 14, 2003

woil: Thanks for the link. As Snopes wrote: "So which way is up? The one clear issue is that people shouldn't be making up their minds to support or oppose the FCC's plans on the basis of an e-mail which exaggerates the issues."

I agree. And neither should they support or oppose the plans on the basis of the non-existant media coverage.

I find suspicious that a media which stoops to inform me of the size of J-Los butt can't find a few minutes to analyze these rule changes. Yet, would we trust the oil industry to honestly analyze changes in regulations for their industry? Should we trust media coverage?

So, I do support the consumer unions. They have the least to personally gain or lose by these changes.
posted by ?! at 5:08 AM on May 15, 2003

For anyone in the Atlanta area who is interested:

Come to the "Media and Democracy Hearing"

WHAT: Atlanta Meeting with FCC Commissioner on Media Ownership
WHERE: Glenn Memorial Sanctuary on Emory University's Campus
WHEN: Wednesday, May 21 from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein will attend to
speak and answer questions.

Other speakers to be announced will discuss the impact of media ownership
rules on diversity in programming, viability of independent production,
variety of editorial, cultural and ethnic voices and barriers to industry

The public is invited for questions and comments. This is your opportunity
to speak out prior to the June 2 FCC meeting in Washington DC to determine
the deregulation of media ownership in America. This will likely be the
last hearing in the country on media deregulation prior to the June 2nd
Federal Communications Commission meeting in Washington, DC, when they will
consider the deregulation of media ownership in America. If passed, media
ownership as we know it will be radically altered.

For additional information call Ebon Dooley, WRFG's Broadcast Director,
at (404) 523 3471.

Glenn Memorial Sanctuary
Emory University Campus
1660 North Decatur Road
Atlanta, Georgia 30322
posted by bas67 at 7:32 AM on May 15, 2003

"Lowry Mays is the Big Daddy of radio. The founder and CEO of Clear Channel, Mays oversees 1,233 radio stations with some 100 million listeners across all 50 states, and runs a company with $8 billion in revenues and a $23 billion market cap. But ask Mays about what he does for a living and you won't hear much about musicians or how to bring up ratings or who's the best DJ. Those things don't interest him much. Truth is, Mays isn't that passionate about what goes out over the airwaves. As long as his broadcasts sell ads, he's happy. 'If anyone said we were in the radio business, it wouldn't be someone from our company,' says Mays, 67. 'We're not in the business of providing news and information. We're not in the business of providing well-researched music. We're simply in the business of selling our customers products.' "
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:39 AM on May 15, 2003

Also check out Lessig's blog for more coverage of MediaCon.

I also suggest you quit believing the media's goal is to inform or educate. It is clearly to entertain. A few holdouts remain, but in general media consolidation has resulted in the quest for profitable news divisions which means the news must go and cross promos and hyped fluff is "news".

IMH and Cynical Opinion.
posted by infowar at 10:47 AM on May 15, 2003

I wholeheartedly support the plan to lift the POINTLESS ban on ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations in large markets.

The point of the ban is to prevent media monopolies. But you knew that, didn't you?
posted by Ty Webb at 2:00 PM on May 15, 2003

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