FCC Commissioner Targets Media Consolidation
August 27, 2008 at 9:11 AM (PT)
The FCC is beholden to media conglomerates to the exclusion of minority- and women-owned media companies, FCC commissioner JONATHAN ADELSTEIN said in DENVER TUESDAY, reports THE DENVER POST.
"I think we've really fallen down on the job in the last eight years," ADELSTEIN said at a Symposium on Media and Democracy sponsored by COMMON CAUSE. "We've forgotten that the airwaves belong to the public and not to special interests."
ADELSTEIN was a staffer to several Democratic senators before his appointment to the commission in 2002. He said he has pushed against a majority on the panel for regulations restricting cross-ownership of media properties in local markets.
"Fewer and fewer companies are consolidating control of the means of creating and distributing ideas. Ownership is the key to getting yourself heard," he said. Media companies have pushed for ownership of newspapers, TV stations and radio stations in the same market during a time of dwindling ad revenues and intense competition from the Internet.
But in an interview after the forum, ADELSTEIN said pairing "ailing newspapers with ailing broadcast stations" is not the solution. He said readers want the information that newspapers provide, but they need to come up with new sources of revenue. He didn't know what those revenue sources would be. ADELSTEIN said he is concerned that control over broadband Internet access will take the same route as traditional media.