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FCC media ownership rules online

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The FCC has finally released the over 300 page media ownership order which was passed 3 to 2 on June 2nd. It is available on the FCC website (which really should be much better) along with statements from the FCC commissioners and the appendix which is called an attachment. Copps has a 23 page dissent and Adelstein’s is 38 pages. It begins:

With the adoption of this Order, a dark storm cloud looms over the future of the American media. The majority has sealed into federal regulations the most sweeping and destructive rollback of consumer protection rules in the history of American broadcasting.

The public stands little to gain and nearly everything to lose by slashing the protections that have served them for decades. Allowing fewer media companies to control what Americans see, hear and read will not serve our democracy well. Today’s relaxation of our media ownership rules is likely to damage the media landscape for generations to come, as all of our experience tells us that the relentless waves of consolidation are virtually impossible to rollback once they advance. Today’s action will likely diminish the diversity of voices heard over the public airwaves, which can only dilute the quality of our society’s intellectual, cultural and political life. It will also likely diminish local control of our media, the core concept at the foundation of the American system of broadcasting, as media giants buy more local stations and homogenize the programs and stories they broadcast.

All of this material will make perfect July 4th weekend reading. After you’ve digestged it, go to Free Press to find out how to get involved. A place to start is to support Sen. Dorgan’s effort to void the FCC order.

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