Commissioners Discuss Media Diversity
July 22, 2008 at 6:38 AM (PT)
Four of the FCC's five members weighed in on the issue of media diversity MONDAY. BROADCASTING & CABLE reports all agreed that more needed to be done, but they split along party lines, or at least ideological lines, over how empty or full the glass was.
Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS didn't seem to think there was much water in the glass at all, saying that the FCC lacked the commitment to do something about a fundamental national problem of lack of diversity in media ownership and employment.
Republican commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL, who was in the glass-half-full camp, agreed that the commission had been "nibbling around the edges" of the ADARAND decision, the SUPREME COURT ruling that restricted government set-asides for minority businesses.
But MCDOWELL said the small steps the FCC had taken -- including adopting a number of diversity initiatives and putting out others for comment -- were steps in the right direction. MCDOWELL said he favors helping minorities get more deals done in a tough economy and he hoped some deals would come out of an "access to capital" hearing the FCC is holding next week in New York.
Commissioner JONATHAN ADELSTEIN said much more needed to be done, but he also said this FCC had made strides, including banning discrimination in advertising contracts. Commissioner DEBORAH TAYLOR TATE -- who got a shout-out from the MINORITY MEDIA & TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL for a record of advocating for minority issues -- said she also liked to look at the positive, while pointing out that as the only woman on the commission, the issue was near to her heart.