End Industry Handouts to Big Media
By Free Press / act2.freepress.net
Dec 6, 2011

Television and radio broadcasters get to use our public airwaves for free. It’s a great deal … for them, at least. For the rest of us, it’s just another corporate giveaway.

These broadcasters rake in billions in profits using our public property. And what do we the public get from them in return? Next to nothing.

What To Do

Tell the FCC: No more handouts to big media.

The original idea was to offer commercial broadcasters free access to our airwaves in exchange for programming that serves the needs of our communities. This is the core of the Federal Communications Commission’s public-interest bargain. But over the years broadcast industry lobbyists have trampled this social contract in their rush to maximize profits.

Instead of covering the issues communities say matter the most, broadcasters have shuttered their newsrooms, laid off journalists and aired cookie-cutter programming often produced by other stations.

Now the FCC is about to review its media ownership rules — including rules that promote localism, competition and diversity on the airwaves. These rules need to be strengthened and enforced. But the FCC has a track record of creating policies that cater to industry at the expense of the news people need:

  1. The agency is reportedly planning to re-introduce a Bush-era policy that would consolidate local media even further in the hands of a few corporate interests. This rule change would allow a single company to own a newspaper and a TV station in the same city.1
  2. The FCC has repeatedly neglected its responsibility to correct dramatic inequalities in the broadcast industry. A Free Press survey of broadcast licenses in 2007 showed women and communities of color to be grossly underrepresented among broadcast owners. Members of Congress and even the courts have repeatedly demanded action by the FCC, yet the agency has done next to nothing to fix this problem.2
  3. The FCC has turned a blind eye to “covert consolidation,” a practice in which corporations control two or three TV stations in the same community. Covert consolidation leads to copycat news programming and has left over 100 communities with few to no choices of local news broadcasts. The agency must strengthen its rules to protect the public from this harmful practice.3

It’s time for the FCC to address these serious problems once and for all.  By signing this letter to the FCC, you’re helping Free Press launch a new initiative to reverse decades of bad policy:

Tell the FCC Chairman Not to Repeat the Mistakes of the Past

We need to put the public interest back into the public airwaves. It begins today with you.

Thanks,

Libby Reinish
Free Press

P.S. This Thursday, the FCC will hold a public hearing on media ownership. Visit this page on Thursday morning to join the conversation: savethenews.org/atlanta

1. Katy Bachman, "Genachowski Trying to Keep Media Ownership Review Quiet," Adweek, Nov. 21, 2011: http://act2.freepress.net/go/7470?akid=3092.9451009.Isgw1X&t=9

2. Free Press letter to FCC Chairman Genachowski, Nov. 28, 2011: http://act2.freepress.net/go/7535?akid=3092.9451009.Isgw1X&t=11

3. John Eggerton, "FCC Media Bureau Denies Complaint Against Raycom in Honolulu, But Says Combo Violates 'Intent' of Rules," Broadcast & Cable, Nov. 27, 2001: http://act2.freepress.net/go/7536?akid=3092.9451009.Isgw1X&t=13

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 8,429 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
PROPAGANDA (2012)
95 min · 4,258 views today · Since it mysteriously appeared on YouTube on July 18, 2012, ‘Propaganda’ has been described as ‘1984 meets The Blair Witch Project’, ‘A mouthful of scary porridge’, and ‘Even...
The Science Behind Connection
9 min · 3,070 views today · Evolutionary Biologist, Bruce Lipton, visits the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh, India with UPLIFT writer, Jacob Devaney. Making a pilgrimage back to one of the epicenters of...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 2,586 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
Life Goes On: A Positive and Uplifting Response to Dark Times
2 min · 2,254 views today · Recent world events have a lot of people feeling fearful and angry. But there is much more good than bad in this world, and I choose to remain hopeful. This video explains why.
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,837 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 622 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 620 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 421 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 403 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 363 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 306 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 271 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 263 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
The Safety Pin and the Swastika
Shuja Haider · 241 views today · The frameworks of liberal identity politics and “alt-right” white nationalism are proving curiously compatible.
This Zen Comic Is Full of Timeless Life Lessons
Gavin Aung Than · 227 views today · Desiderata poem by Max Ehrmann beautifully illustrated by Gavin Aung Than
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 225 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 207 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
Money & Life (2013)
86 min · 207 views today · Money & Life is a passionate and inspirational essay-style documentary that asks a provocative question: can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 203 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
End Industry Handouts to Big Media