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  • Sylvia Moore 12:47 pm on January 19, 2011 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , media consolidation, , public airwaves, , , Sue Wilson, ,   

    Broadcast Blues’ Sue Wilson Talks About Hate Speech 

    How did so much of American radio and television turn from a marketplace of diverse political ideas into a cesspool of Wall Street propaganda and violent-tinged ranting? In the aftermath of the deadly shootings in Tucson, Arizona, filmmaker Sue Wilson appeared Jan. 12 on Nicole Sandler’s Radio or Not show to talk about how media consolidation destroyed the ability of communities to control local programming and led to the rise of hate speech on the public airwaves. Sue also talks about her plans to start an organized effort to legally challenge the radio licenses of broadcasters who abuse the public trust. Sue’s excellent film, Broadcast Blues, outlines the history and consequences of the deregulation of radio and television. The interview starts at 1:16:55. Click here to listen.

     
  • Sylvia Moore 5:20 pm on July 15, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , consolidation, , , , , , , , media consolidation, merger, , , , ownership, ,   

    Big Media At It Again: Broadcasters Want FCC to Let Them Own Even More 

    As if the proposed Comcast/NBC Universal merger just wasn’t enough, the nation’s big broadcasters are strapping on the feed bag, ready to engorge themselves with more tasty snacks of the public’s television and radio airwaves. The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing its media ownership rules for the fourth time since 2000, and the National Association of Broadcasters is again asking the commission to ease up on the regulation.

    Specifically, the NAB wants the FCC to eliminate rules restricting cross-ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations, relax radio station ownership rules as well as rules restricting ownership of television stations in certain markets. Media watchdog group, Free Press, immediately petitioned the FCC, criticizing the NAB’s request, and noting that the commission has gone too far already in allowing more media company consolidation. Free Press Policy Counsel Corie Wright:

    “The FCC’s media ownership rules are critical to ensuring that the public’s primary news and information sources do not become consolidated in the hands of a few companies. Moreover, the so-called efficiencies of consolidation have not materialized. Instead, the cost of consolidating has placed a number of companies that might otherwise be profitable in dire straits, resulting in disinvestment in newsgathering and job losses for journalists.

    “We urge the Commission to resist industry pressures to further weaken ownership limits. Companies that have made poor business decisions should not be rewarded with permission to engage in even more media consolidation that would further injure competition and diversity among local media outlets. It is not the Commission’s job to protect industry profit margins. Rather, its role is to promulgate and enforce regulations designed to promote competition, diversity and localism so that the public interest is served.”

    If the FCC lets broadcasters own just about every newspaper, television and radio station in one market, quality journalism will continue to suffer. We’ll have even fewer – if any – news stories about how the City Council is spending taxpayer money, and more gossip about Lindsay Lohan’s legal troubles. After all, to a media company looking after its bottom line, gossip sells – government doesn’t. And there will be fewer alternatives available for the kind of reliable information one needs to make good decisions in a democracy. The Internet has yet to become a sufficient destination for local news. Besides, most people still get their news from television. Instead of informing viewers, broadcasters are spoon-feeding them entertainment disguised as “news,” with the result being too many people who know next to nothing about how their government works. That’s what rampant consolidation has brought us.

    These broadcasters have stuffed themselves enough. Isn’t it time the FCC put them on a diet?

     
  • Sylvia Moore 1:04 pm on May 19, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: federal communication commission, , , media consolidation, , , , technology,   

    Public Hearing at Stanford This Friday on Media Ownership 

    The Federal Communications Commission on Friday is holding a public hearing at Stanford University on the impact media consolidation and technological innovation has had on journalism. The hearing is part of the FCC’s review of its 2010 media ownership laws. This free event will feature a panel that includes Tim Westergren, Founder of Pandora Music, Eddy W. Hartenstein, Publisher and CEO, Los Angeles Times, Jim Joyce, President, National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, and Vice President, Communications Workers of America and Alan Mutter, Publisher, Reflections of a Newsosaur, and Tiffiniy Ying Cheng, Co-Founder, Participatory Culture Foundation. The public will be able to comment during two comment sections. A schedule is available here.

    The national media reform organization, Free Press, is urging all citizens concerned about too much corporate control over what we see and hear to attend this hearing. Says Josh Stearns, Program Manager for Free Press and SaveTheNews, “Even though President Obama has opposed media consolidation, Big Media has been beating down the door at the FCC. They are pushing the Obama FCC to go even farther than the Bush FCC and dramatically relax media ownership laws, letting absentee Big Media giants control even more local media.”

    Below is footage of the most recent public hearing held in Columbia, South Carolina.

    Although the Web has become a valuable refuge for those of us seeking alternatives to the Mainstream Media, most Americans still get the bulk of their news and information from the broadcast and cable networks and commercial talk radio. Most people still listen to music on commercial radio. And because of media consolidation, many cities, including Los Angeles, have lost newspapers, creating an environment where only one publication dominates. Contrary to what the big media conglomerates argue, letting fewer and fewer of these companies own more and more stations has not created competition, but stifled it, leading to dumbed-down infotainment masquerading as “news” and a lack of diverse voices in our media. As a result, Americans are as ill-served and ill-informed as ever – a situation that is having disastrous consequences for our democracy. With the pending Comcast/NBC Universal merger threatening to make our airwaves even more homogenized, it’s imperative that the public makes its voice heard. So if you can get up to Stanford this Friday and go to this, please do so.

    What: Media Ownership Public Hearing

    When: May 21, 2010, 10AM to 5PM (the public comment section is at 11:45 and 3:30)

    Where: Stanford University, Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Lagunita Drive, Stanford, CA






     
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