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.
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:
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.
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