Common Cause Asks Court To Block FCC Move Endangering Minority Media
- David Vance
Coalition Seeks to Preserve 'Cross-Ownership' Rule
Common Cause is part of a coalition of public interest, religious, and labor groups urging a federal appeals court to overturn a Federal Communications Commission decision that threatens the survival of local media and negatively impacts minority-owned media outlets.
In a filing this week in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, the groups said the commission’s decision last fall was an abuse of its discretion.
“The commission’s decision to repeal its cross-ownership and local television ownership rules will allow big media companies like Sinclair Broadcasting to muscle out small, minority-owned radio and television stations in communities across the country,” said Yosef Getachew, director of Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. “We need to encourage more diversity in our media, not cut off what little we have now.“
“The real losers here will be citizens who depend on local broadcasters to provide aggressive, independent news coverage, with multiple perspectives and a robust exchange of views on important local issues,” Getachew said. “When a single owner is allowed to dominate the market, that kind of coverage disappears and democracy suffers.”
In addition to Common Cause, the petitioners include Free Press, the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, and the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians-Communications Workers of America.
The filing is available here.