Media Consolidation is Back

Just saw in The New York Times that Kevin Martin, head of the Federal Communications Commission has once again proposed loosening media ownership restrictions. These looser restrictions would allow, among other things, media conglomerates to own a television station and newspaper in the same city, to own two TV stations in the same city (as long as one is not among the city’s top four stations), and to own up to eight radio stations in the biggest radio markets.

There is already too little diversity in local programming as it is, and media consolidation tends to limit the kinds of voices that are heard on TV, on the radio, and in newspapers. This proposal was tremendously unpopular the first time when Michael Powell proposed it in 2003 (around the same time I started this blog), and it should be rejected this time as well. Good for Byron Dorgan, among others, for stepping up to the plate on this issue.

While I’m mentioning members of Congress, good for Fayetteville-area reps Bob Etheridge (who represents my district) Mike McIntyre for finally coming around on SCHIP. Etheridge, McIntyre, and Republican rep Robin Hayes have been getting pilloried in ads airing on local TV, so I’m glad to see that the pressure on them actually worked.

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