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Federal Communications Commission

FCC Review Of Media Ownership Stays Open Until January 16th
Mainstream Media Is Not Reporting On This


By: Spacelab Research Staff
As the hangover glaze of the celebration of the passing of the new year sets in, remember this: there are two weeks left for the public to weigh in on a decision for the FCC to change the rules of media ownership.

Why should we care? Think back to 1996... you may remember with faint nostalgia a time when radio stations actually had DJ's that worked at the local station rather than being nationally syndicated. You may remember that there were more media companies and diversity than you could even begin to count. And you might remember, with a laugh, that FM radio wasn't so bad compared to the way it is now.

But that changed when the 1996 Telecommunications Act went into effect. It relaxed the ownership rules so that bigger corporations could own more newspapers, radio stations, and tv stations in every local market. And then big media companies went on a buying spree. When the dust settled, we were left with some major corporations owning an overwhelming slice of the pie. Competition became a forgotten word, unless you were one of these big groups like Viacom, Disney, Time Warner, General Electric, Bertelsman, and News Corporation; they all compete for the mainstay of the public where medium and small sized companies fight everyday for brief coverage.

The end result is that the rich got richer, while the poor (or maybe better stated as those who were not very very rich) stayed in the same place.

And now there's another movement in Washington DC to relax those same ownership rules again. The 1996 Telecommunications Act says that the FCC must periodically review these rules to "determine whether any of such rules are necessary in the public interest as the result of competition." Section 202(h) also states that Commission must "repeal or modify any regulation that it determines is no longer in the public interest."

This of course means that the review could go either way, opening the media ownership rules to be relaxed (the big guys get to own even more) or reduce the number of media outlets they can own. This all very relevant right now because the FCC has extended the public review, i.e. the public's BIG MOMENT TO WEIGH IN until January 16th.

This is your big chance to have your say... Democracy is completely based on participation people, and the big fat cats have time and money to spend on this, the public usually never hears about this until it's too late. Take a look around at how the major news organizations are skipping over coverage on this.

Call or email your Senator or Representative in Washington DC and tell them where you stand before it's too late!

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