Hudson Valley FCC hearing Nov. 21

Nov 07, 2006 5:31 am
Northeast Citizens for Responsible Media with Congressman Maurice Hinchey are organizing our own Public Hearing so that the FCC and Congress can hear from the public, how to serve the public’s interest. Join us: Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Wallace Center (which is the FDR Center in Hyde Park). The FCC is once again taking up the issue of media ownership rules and intends, as it tried unsuccessfully in 2003, to ignore its responsibility to the public. If the FCC has its way it will hand over our airwaves to an ever shrinking group of media moguls, who will be the sole determiners (along with their partner in crime, otherwise known as "The Decider") of all that the American people get to see and hear and read– everything that passes for information in the United States. How does the FCC fulfill its intended role to protect the public interest? Well, in 2003 FCC Commissioners and staffers took more than 2,500 junkets at a cost of $2.8 million- paid for by those very corporations they're supposed to be regulating. Owners and lobbyists for the country's largest broadcasting conglomerates meet regularly, behind closed doors, with FCC officials (71 times at least in 2003). How many times did the public get to meet with the FCC in 2003? Answer: there was one public hearing held. This year, the FCC will magnanimously hold six public hearings while it prepares to ignore the public once again. As Congressman Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) has told us: "Chairman Kevin Martin has made it quite clear that he intends to overturn the existing rules, which are our last backstop against the concentration of print and broadcast media into the hands of a few major corporations." Media consolidation is one of the most dangerous issues confronting our democracy. As control of the media is concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer conglomerates, local reporting disappears, the diversity both of viewpoints and ownership disintegrates, the marketplace of ideas shrinks and, as a result, the media will cease to be the crucial check on the power of the federal government that the founding fathers intended.
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