Green Party Cheers Opposition to FCC Ruling.
THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
WASHINGTON, DC -- As the date approached for the Federal Communication Commission's decision on 'relaxing' media consolidation rules, the Green Party of the United States joined countless individuals and organizations who submitted public comments overwhelmingly against media ownership in fewer fewer hands.
Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting estimated that the FCC Commissioners received some 750,000 letters, faxes, emails and phone calls prior to the vote.
But that opposition failed to sway the majority of the FCC's members; in a 3-2 decision, the rules regulating media ownership were eased per industry wishes.
"The 'chilling effect' of this decision could go far beyond newsrooms and broadcast studios, " said Ben Manski, Co-Chair of the Green Party of the United States. "Should this ruling stand, there will be less opportunity for public oversight as corporations ignore diverse views in the name of mainstream appeal and greater profits."
"And less information available means less knowledgeable people," agreed Starlene Rankin, Lavender Green Caucus delegate to the national party. "These are public airwaves being passed around between private corporations. Citizens are the owners and their views aren't even being considered."
The June 2 decision, though, inspired a Congressional initiative, Under corrective legislation that recently passed the Senate Commerce Committee, individual companies would be barred from buying TV stations reaching more than 35% of the national market. Also barred would be cross-ownership of print and broadcast media in single markets.
A measure sponsored by Committee Chair John McCain would eliminate the exemption allowing radio station ownership to exceed applicable caps. And re-evaluation of the 1996 Telecommunications Act is also being urged.
"We are heartened by these actions as well as similar sentiments in the U.S. House," said David Larson, Media Coordinator for the Iowa Green Party. "We hope all members of Congress will serve the U.S. public interest and oppose the ruling."
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