Friday, May 30, 2003

FCC Comment 

There is still time to enter your comment regarding the rules to allow more consolidation of the media. You can submit an electronic copy by going to the FCC comment page and enter your concerns. You will need to enter in docket number 02-277 and the rest is fairly self-explanatory. Here is my recent comment:

I am writing to you today to comment on Docket No. 02-277, The Biennial Review of the FCC's broadcast media ownership rules.

The goal of the federal laws governing communications technology has been to protect the public interest, yet so far we have not seen how this interest has been protected.

Recently, 700 WLW radio, which is a ClearChannel station, ran a series of ads that denigrated the fundamental dignity of human beings, threatening to "round up the bums" in Cincinnati and ship them off to the wealthier suburbs. They noted that they would lure them in with cheap wine in paper bags. How is this upholding the obligation of the public interest?

ClearChannel also has been at the fore of censoring artists from the playlists of radio stations that have taken controversial stands against the US war in Iraq. The public interest is upheld when diverse viewpoints are allowed to flourish, but apparently not to ClearChannel. Take a look at the radio stations across the country that ClearChannel owns, that have a talk format, and see for yourself the diversity of opinions that ClearChannel will allow. You will find that those of the right dominate. This neither supports the public interest nor does is it a responsible use of the PUBLIC AIRWAVES!

Perhaps if the FCC would have held more than one hearing on this, you would have heard the pleas of millions of American who are fed up with the consolidation of media in the past seven years.

Respectfully,

(name)
(address)
(city, zip code)
(email)
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S.F. picketers protest vote on new FCC rules / Plan to relax monopoly restrictions draws fire 

There is an article in the San Francisco Chronicle on the protests in San Francisco on the FCC decision to come down next week on greater media consolidation. The focus of the article is ClearChannel, and they list at the bottom of the page the number of channels that ClearChannel owns. I wonder, if you look at the number of radio stations that is devoted to talk, how much balance in viewpoints you get? At some point I will take a look at the radio stations devoted to a talk format, and then look at the type of programming that is carried. My hunch is that it is universally conservative, which would seem to undermine the obligation to "promote the public interest," not just the "conservative public" interest. Stay tuned.
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