FCC's Martin: Time To Get Ownership Review Moving
April 4, 2006 at 11:51 AM (PT)
FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN told the NEWSPAPER ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA's convention that the Commission "should issue a neutral notice of proposed rulemaking" to get the review of media ownership rules going again.
"As the Commission embarks on another review of its media ownership rules," MARTIN said, "our challenge is to ensure that these rules take into account the competitive realities facing newspapers and broadcasters while ensuring that localism and diversity are promoted. The public needs to understand both the value that your papers offer and the struggles you face in continuing to provide news in an increasingly competitive media marketplace. Indeed, the failure of the Commission to modify our rules is not our fault alone. The public has not been convinced of the need for change."
The public has not been convinced of the need for change
Voicing the reasons for his support of loosening newspaper-broadcast crossownership restrictions, MARTIN said that the FCC "needs once again to try to update our rules to account for the dramatically changed media landscape. Given the financial difficulties faced by newspapers in markets of all sizes, the continued prohibition on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership may adversely impact the quality of news and localism.... We must take into account the fact that newspaper/broadcast combinations may result in a significant increase in the production of local news and current affairs, as well as an improvement in the quality of programming provided to their communities.... We should correct any imbalance in our rules, create a level playing field, and give newspapers the same opportunities other media entities enjoy."