Every four years our Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requests public input on their performance and the communications needs of Americans. In recent years there has been deregulation that has promoted consolidation of media ownership. Because of this, Americans are left under-informed and misinformed by media oligopolies and oligarchs who are increasing their power and ability to control narrative and information across platforms and communities. Rupert Murdoch (owner of Fox, WSJ, NY Post, local TV channels, etc…) and Sinclair Broadcasting Group which owns 190+ local TV stations are wielding their media control for partisan political power.
Help us advocate for and build better media by signing on to our submission to the FCC about media ownership and diversity.
What is the FCC? What does it do? Why does this matter? Here’s our Media And Democracy Project Guide to Your FCC
Question: Does it matter who owns your local TV and radio stations?
Answer: Yes, a lot! If you have not seen the power and danger of media consolidation, watch this infamous clip of “local news” of the Sinclair Broadcasting Group https://youtu.be/0XbSi5e72bU parroting the same propaganda. Sinclair reaches 40% of US households now.
Media ownership influences how information reaches American voters and how they understand what the challenges and solutions are to the problems we face as a nation. Setting TV, radio, cable, newspaper ownership limitations is one of the many responsibilities of the FCC.
In 2017, with a Republican majority, the Federal Communications Commission weakened the rules that for decades had assured that the public received genuinely local news and protected the public airwaves from dominance by major corporations. This has been bad for American democracy and every pro-democracy cause has suffered.
We are urging the Commission to reverse those actions.
In particular we recommend that the FCC:
– Strengthen the Local TV Ownership Rules
– Strengthen the Local Radio Ownership Rules
– Prevent Joint Sales Agreements from undermining the Ownership Rules
– Restore the Broadcast Station Cross-Ownership Rules
– Protect the National TV limits by removing the UHF Discount
– Restore the Main Studio Rule
We also make recommendations to strengthen the regulatory process.
We present extensive analysis of why action is essential to preserve and improve localism and diversity in media (which are central aspects of the Commission’s mandate and goals), and determine that the ownership rules remain necessary in the public interest. Strengthened ownership rules are essential to preserve a healthy local news ecosystem that serves our democracy and builds true community. Importantly, as in most industries, minorities and women are underrepresented in media ownership. This needs to change.
What can YOU do about media consolidation and dominance by Sinclair and Rupert Murdoch?
Answer: Get our FCC back working for the people – and start by undoing the changes from 2017 – AND get our US Senate to confirm Gigi Sohn to the FCC asap.
We invite you to sign our submission to the FCC – as individuals AND organizations.
Full document here: https://bit.ly/MAD_FCC-Letter
DEADLINE to sign our comment to the FCC is Thursday 3/2
Support your community.
Strengthen our democracy.
Invest in local journalism.
Reminder in addition to helping get the FCC to promote diversity of media ownership you can help support local journalism today. Use the interactive map of our 50 state local journalism directory: https://www.mediaanddemocracyproject.org/journalism-directory
3/6 MONDAY 7:00p ET Our Media and Democracy Project bi-weekly General Meeting – newcomers are always welcome. We will discuss different ways you can help #FixMediaNow Sign up HERE (always Zoom)
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Milo, Brian, Jonathan, Holley, Cecily, Al, Carolyn, Noelle and the entire Media and Democracy Project
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Twitter: @MAD_Democracy & @FixMediaNow
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