Supporters of diverse local media and champions of competition among news outlets are celebrating the recent U.S. Court of Appeals verdict in Prometheus Radio Project v. the FCC. The court rejected Federal Communications Commission rules that would have opened up ownership to further corporate consolidation. In the wake of the egregious overstepping by media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s uber British tabloid News of the World, the ruling has taken on an heroic cast. The court said that in making its rules the FCC had ignored the input of millions of American citizens.
Posts Tagged FCC
No one loved the internet rules written by the Federal Communications Commission last year that sought to safeguard the free-flowing egalitarian quality of the internet, where communication-industry giants don’t get to decide which information streams to users and at what speed. One side thought the rules were overreaching socialism and the other thought they were riven with the kind of loopholes corporate interests could wiggle through when it came time to assert control. In the spring, Republicans in the House opposed to the rules voted to strip the FCC of the cash it would need to enforce the rules. On Wednesday, a small band of senators, including Colorado’s Mark Udall, sent a letter to Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Ranking Member Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) objecting to the House action and asking the committee to strip out the budget amendment that would hold back the FCC funds.
The sprawling greater-Denver metro region is in news-media crisis. In the information age, when there seems to be more and more to know, there is less and less being reported by the diminishing number of local mainstream news outlets here. So it comes as little surprise that media watchdog organization FreePress this week is highlighting the Denver news market as a negative example for the nation. The organization reports that, on top of shrinking newspaper reporting, the local TV news market is host to a “severe” form of the kind of sly consolidation that media corporations have been effecting across the country for nearly a decade. FreePress says this “covert consolidation,” where direct ownership is never transferred, is gaining momentum and that it skirts federal ownership laws and erodes market variety and competition.
Colorado U.S. Reps. Jared Polis and Ed Perlmutter signed onto a letter to the Federal Communications Commission last week Thursday that was penned by New York Democratic U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks. The letter was signed by 70 other members of Congress and appears to have been crafted by Meeks to cater to Verizon Communications, the second-largest employer in his New York district and also the second-largest contributor to his campaign coffers. Verizon donated as much as $43,000 to Meeks, according to campaign-cash tracking website Open Secrets.
The letter was sent in advance of meetings the FCC plans to hold Thursday on national broadband policy.
U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, the Boulder Democrat who made millions as an Internet entrepreneur, drafted a letter (pdf) and blogged at the Huffington Post Monday in favor of network neutrality. That makes sense. In addition to owing…
Media reform watchdog Free Press.net is soliciting public input into the appointment of President-elect Barack Obama’s Federal Communications Commission chair with a nifty poll that has already reached nearly 9,000 respondents.
Cast your vote below the fold.