Minority Groups Petition FCC To Stop Their Declining Media Presence
February 16, 2010 at 4:48 PM (PT)
A group of almost two dozen minority interest groups have sent FCC Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI a letter that offers up a long list of actions the FCC should take to ameliorate the paucity of minority presence in radio. Among the groups that signed the letter were the NAACP, NABOB, ASIAN AMERICAN JUSTICE CENTER, THE HISPANIC INSTITUTE HISPANIC TECHNOLOGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS PARTNERSHIP, LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS, MINORITY MEDIA AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COUNCIL, NATIONAL COUNCIL OF LA RAZA, NATIONAL PUERTO RICAN COALITION, NATIONAL URBAN LEAGUE, RAINBOW PUSH COALITION, SPANISH BROADCASTERS ASSOC. and U.S. HISPANIC CHAMBER OF COMMERCE.
After pointing out that the FCC's tri-annual report on minority presence in media was behind schedule, the letter noted that "Minority radio ownership has declined by 9% just within the last three years. [and] ... minority radio journalism employment has plummeted to less than 1%, a level not seen since 1950, It is therefore unfortunate that the Commission failed to vote on any of the dozens of pending proposals to advance minority ownership and participation in the industries the Commission regulates."
Among the proposals were:
* Adopt any of the two dozen proposed noncontroversial initiatives that would give minority businesses an opportunity to acquire FCC-licensed assets.
* To restore minimal enforcement of the broadcast EEO Rule, and to assign a compliance officer to the 2007 Advertising Nondiscrimination Rule which ... could restore to minority broadcasters the approximately $200 million every year that they forego because of racial discrimination by advertisers.
* To hold a hearing on Arbitron’s PPM audience measurement technology.
* To support the only remaining federal initiative aimed at promoting minority and women media and telecom ownership -- the Telecommunications Development Fund. On JANUARY 28th, the Administration -- without consulting with diversity advocates -- proposed a budget that would eliminate the Fund entirely.
"We would be glad to assist the COMMISSION with a comprehensive review of what can be done in 2010 to promote minority ownership and equal employment in the telecommunications sector," the letter concludes. "We specifically ask that you place on the agenda of the COMMISSION’s APRIL 2010 public Commission meeting a Report and Order adopting several of the dozens of long-pending, fully briefed and virtually unopposed proposals to advance media and telecom ownership diversity."
Read the entire letter here.