The Original American Malcontent

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

FCC Now Willing To Listen To The People?

Cross-posted from Disenfranchised by the Left

I have to thank Amy for bringing this issue to my attention, this is a victory and it appears that those in the FCC are now more than willing to uphold the guidelines of the third circuits decision not to loosen restrictions on monopoly ownership, however we still need to tighten the belt and reduce the number of outlets currently owned.

Washington, DC -- Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin today responded to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to deny the requests to review the Third Circuit Court of Appeals decision on the FCC’s media ownership rules with the following statement:

“I am now looking forward to working with all of my colleagues as we reevaluate our media ownership rules consistent with the Third Circuit’s guidance and our statutory obligations.”

Here’s a site that has the current regulations broken down – you won’t find it on the FCC site, they transfer you to a very unweildly government code page – ick.

The Third Circuit Rulings:
The court rejected the FCC's rule changes which allowed for "cross-ownership" of newspapers and broadcast stations, and the concentration of broadcast ownership, in local markets. Together, these rules would have allowed one company to own three TV stations, 8 radio stations, and the monopoly newspaper in a single market.
The court took aim at the FCC's faulty methodology, including the so-called "diversity index", used by the agency to measure the influence of different kinds of media on local communities.
Critically, the court also rejected the FCC's claim that ownership limits should be removed unless evidence could be shown to warrant their staying in place. The court instead placed the burden of proof on the FCC, stating that unless sufficient evidence can be shown to warrant their removal, media ownership limits should be kept in place.

FCC Commissioner Michael Copps Comments
“The ball is clearly back in the Commission’s court. The FCC has a fresh opportunity now to come up with a set of rules to encourage localism, competition, and diversity in our media. If we work together, conduct outreach to engage the American people, and gather a more complete record, I am confident of our ability to craft rules that will withstand judicial scrutiny and the scrutiny of the American people. I am ready to roll up my sleeves and work with my colleagues to get the job done.”

FCC Commisioner Jonathan Adlesteins Comments

“This decision is a rare victory for the public over some of the most powerful corporations in America. The American public is concerned about concentration in the media, and our court system has rightly responded. The court’s decision puts the issue of media consolidation right back in the FCC’s hands and gives us an opportunity for a fresh start, so we better get it right this time. We need to be very careful because once we allow greater media concentration, we can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube. We can’t let a handful of media giants dominate the discourse in any community.

Learning from the backlash against the rules last time, we now need to involve the public and Congress more fully in our deliberations. We need to hold public hearings across the country, and call for more studies from experts and academics. I look forward to working with Chairman Martin and all of my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to fix the rules so they comply with the court order. We need a comprehensive response that recognizes our media ownership rules work together to prevent a single owner from gaining too much control over what the American people see, hear and read.”
See, public outcry does work - keep bitching!


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