AFTRA Pushes For "Openness" In FCC Ownership Review
June 20, 2006 at 6:15 AM (PT)
AFTRA is asking the FCC for more "openness and transparency" in reviewing ownership rules. BACKSTAGE.COM reports that AFTRA, which is against further media ownership consolidation, wants "meaningful ownership rules" in place, in the words of AFTRA National Director of Legislative Affairs THOMAS R. CARPENTER. "When ownership becomes more and more centralized," CARPENTER said, "there's a disincentive to provide new work opportunities."
CARPENTER cited the use of off-network TV reruns on cable channels owned by the networks as an example of how consolidation leads to reduced job opportunities. The media owners "are broadcasting over airwaves that are owned by the public," CARPENTER said. "Basically they're getting a license to print money. At a minimum they should be serving the public's interest.... We're hoping rules will be enacted to preserve diverse editorial perspectives in news as well as diverse formats for programming in the entertainment industry... As rules are relaxed, there's an economic disincentive to provide additional choices."
Groups Launch Anti-Consolidation Campaign
Meanwhile, a coalition of anti-consolidation groups is announcing a new website TODAY (6/20), STOPBIGMEDIA.COM. Among the groups behind the site are CONSUMERS UNION, the NEWSPAPER GUILD-CWA, RAINBOW COALITION/OPERATION PUSH, the LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE ON CIVIL RIGHTS, the MEDIA ACCESS PROJECT/MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY COALITION, and FREE PRESS.