Group Warns Of Dangers If Media-Ownership Rules Are Loosened
October 19, 2006 at 1:31 PM (PT)
A coalition of anti-big-media groups unveiled a survey that says ownership concentration and cross-ownership would harm communities nationwide. The survey by the MEDIA AND DEMOCRACY COALITION primarily focused on the effect newspaper co-ownership of TV stations would have on the number of voices in local media and concluded that loosening the rules would "reduce already insufficient local news coverage and eliminate diverse voices and viewpoints and, in every case, exceed U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission Merger Guidelines."
In giving examples of what could happen, the report mistakenly cites dangers of newspaper-TV crossownership in DALLAS, where the DALLAS MORNING NEWS and ABC affiliate WFAA-TV/DALLAS have been owned by the same interests for several decades. The coalition includes FREE PRESS, COMMON CAUSE, CONSUMERS UNION, and PROMETHEUS RADIO PROJECT, among others.
NAB spokesman DENNIS WHARTON responded to the survey by issuing a statement that read, "We're hopeful that public policymakers recognize the seismic changes in the media landscape in the three decades since many of the media-ownership rules were adopted. Broadcasters are not seeking elimination of all ownership rules. However, measured relaxation of regulations will preserve localism and ensure that free, high-quality programming enjoyed daily by millions of Americans does not migrate to pay platforms."