Free Press Warns FCC's Genachowski On Cross-Ownership Changes
November 29, 2011 at 4:25 AM (PT)
Media advocacy group FREE PRESS has sent a letter to FCC Chairman JULIUS GENACHOWSKI warning against the possible loosening of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership ban and other relaxation of the media ownership rules.
FREE PRESS President/CEO CRAIG AARON said, "There is overwhelming opposition by the public, congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle, and the courts to attempts by the FCC to relax its media ownership rules. The so-called MARTIN Rule was bad policy when it was adopted in 2007, and it has not improved with age.
"We hope that the FCC is not embarking on the 2010 Review having predetermined that it will allow further consolidation along the lines of the failed policies of the previous administration. The FCC should be promoting competitive, diverse and independent local media -- not wasting time trying to revive bad policies of the BUSH years."
The letter also asserts, "Your administration should not repeat the mistakes of its predecessors. Despite the concerns of Congress and a directive from a U.S. Court of Appeals, none of the 11 studies commissioned by the FCC for the 2010 Quadrennial Review addresses the causal factors or market structures that might promote or impede ownership of broadcast outlets by women and people of color. Nor has the FCC produced an updated and accurate census of the status of media ownership among these groups. As such, it is difficult to see how the FCC could assess the impact of any proposed rule changes on ownership opportunities for women and people of color."