Common Cause Lauds FCC Moves to Bolster Independent, Local Media

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  • Dale Eisman

The Federal Communications Commission has taken a welcome step to strengthen independent, locally-owned media, issuing new rules that begin closing loopholes broadcasters have used to cut costs and pad their profits by combining newsrooms and other operations, Common Cause said Monday.

“We’re hopeful that today’s announcement marks the long overdue start of a new era of public interest leadership,” said Michael Copps, special adviser to Common Cause’s Media and Democracy Reform Initiative. The loopholes the commission attacked, “allow one entity to exert operational and even editorial control over multiple stations in the same market,” he added.

A former FCC member, Copps said the commission “should be commended for taking on the forces of monopoly and consolidation, and promptly take the next steps to guarantee Americans are served by the media ecosystem that they deserve and self government requires.”

The FCC’s ownership rules are designed to prevent one entity from dominating the local media. Closing these loopholes contributes to a more informed electorate by promoting media diversity and localism, Copps said.

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to restoring the core values of American democracy, reinventing an open, honest and accountable government that works for the public interest and empowering ordinary people to make their voices heard.

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