Groups Weigh In With Proposals For Ownership Studies
July 12, 2010 at 4:27 AM (PT)
The FCC's ownership rules review drew comments from several parties last week, including the WRITERS GUILD OF AMERICA - EAST, the AFL-CIO, a joint filing by groups led by the UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN and others, the FREE PRESS and more.
The WGAe wrote, "Our members see first-hand what happens when too few entities control too much of what the American public watches and listens to, both in the entertainment realm and in news. Democracy depends on the vibrant exchange of ideas; on information presented in coherent, meaningful ways; on independent thought which is not tailored for commercial advantage. Consolidation of ownership and power in the media removes these vital elements from the marketplace." The union called for "a significant increase in federal funding of public affairs programming on public television."
Democracy depends on the vibrant exchange of ideas; on information presented in coherent, meaningful ways; on independent thought which is not tailored for commercial advantage. Consolidation of ownership and power in the media removes these vital element
The group filing by the UCC, NOW, PROMETHEUS RADIO PROJECT, MEDIA ALLIANCE, NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR WOMEN, NATIONAL HISPANIC MEDIA COALITION, COMMUNICATIONS WORKERS OF AMERICA, THE BENTON FOUNDATION, COMMON CAUSE and MEDIA COUNCIL HAWAII suggested that the Commission study the impact of the rules on station ownership by minorities and women, and the impact of "shared services agreements" like that proposed for three TV stations in the HONOLULU market and "local news services" producing news for multiple stations on diversity, localism and competition.
FREE PRESS supplied a letter outlining what it said were the numerous "fatal flaws" and data deficiencies of the 2006 ownership rules review. It also suggested a study of news- and resource-sharing agreements between local television broadcasters.
DANILO YANICH of the UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE's Media Project suggested a "media eco-system approach" treating the media market as "an inter-related system in which the supply of information from the media (both electronic and print) is understood within the context of the demand for that information and vice versa." YANICH proposes to do a study himself (if he can get funding from the FCC) to analyze TV newscasts to allow other researchers to access that information.
And SIMON WILKIE, ISABELLE BROCAS and JUAN CARILLO proposed using "experimental economics" in its study of the impact of market structure on the range of viewpoints supplied. The proposal seeks to address "behavioral biases" in the analysis of media bias.