FCC’s proposed rule changes run counter to the public’s interest

Proposed rules changes issued today by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin would gut the longstanding prohibition on owning a daily newspaper and broadcast stations in the same media market and run counter to the public’s interest.

“Chairman Martin’s plan to allow increased media consolidation goes against everything the public has been asking for,” said Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause. “Ask any person on the street and they will tell you that the media is not serving the public sufficiently now. Allowing fewer companies to own more of the media is just going to make this worse.”

“The American public needs diverse sources of news, if we are to be able to be educated participants in our democracy,” Edgar said. “The FCC has not dealt with the lack of minority and women in media ownership. The FCC has not dealt with the quality and quantity of local programming and news. But now they propose to allow big corporations to get bigger while decreasing the diversity of news sources. When is the FCC going to consider what is in the public’s best interest instead of what is in the corporations’ best interest?”