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COMMUNET Home

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COMMUNET  May 2003, Week 3

COMMUNET May 2003, Week 3

Subject:

a question, and fyi, 100 legislators on the FCC media ownership decision

From:

"W. Curtiss Priest" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Community and Civic Network discussion list <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Thu, 15 May 2003 17:22:49 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (136 lines)

1.  We have accumulated a few forum feeds on audio, but, KPFA
thought they had a copy of the San Francisco event, but cannot
locate it.

We were so busy trying to fix the KPOO feed, etc., that we,
at best, have a partial copy that we are trying to locate
at LPBN.

Does anyone have an audio copy of any format, on anything ?
We'll take 8 track tape if we have to  :)

2.  The level of concern throughout the country is beginning
to rise.  Only in the last few days have their been a few
AP wires about the June 2nd decision, and, nearly 100 legislators
in DC have written Powell about delaying the decision.

[some of you are receiving this announcement as recipients
of [log in to unmask] ]

Here is the Benton summary of the San Francisco Gate article,
and the full article follows:

MEDIA OWNERSHIP
HOUSE DEMOCRATS ASK REGULATORS TO DELAY MEDIA OWNERSHIP DECISION
In a letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell, 92 Democratic members of the
House of Representatives and one independent member asked that the
Commission delay its media ownership proceedings, which are scheduled
for
June 2nd. "The notion that a handful of corporations and their
executives
could wind up controlling much of the information, news and cultural
options
available to Americans should be a chilling concept to most people," the
lawmakers wrote, adding that the FCC should allow Congress and the
public to
review and comment on the proposal before ruling. The letter coincides
with
a formal request from Commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein
to
delay the vote for one month and is the most recent in a string of
letters
from policymakers attempting to ply Powell in one direction or the
other. In
a related story, the National Rifle Association has joined other
consumer
groups in fighting to maintain the current regulations, stating, "big
media
conglomerates are already pushing out diversity of political opinion."
[SOURCE: The San Francisco Gate; AUTHOR: David Ho]
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/05/14/national1715EDT0746.DTL

["fair use," "teachable moment," "archival," Section 107(a), 1976
Copyright Act and 1998 Digital Millennium Act]

House Democrats ask regulators to delay media ownership decision

DAVID HO, Associated Press Writer

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

(05-14) 14:15 PDT WASHINGTON (AP) --

Nearly 100 House Democrats asked Federal Communications Commission
Chairman Michael Powell Wednesday to publicly justify his agency's
plans for overhauling media ownership restrictions before making the
changes.

The 92 Democrats and one independent said in a letter that a flood of
media mergers could follow the commission's June 2 vote to change
decades-old rules governing the ownership of newspapers and TV and
radio stations.

"The notion that a handful of corporations and their executives could
wind up controlling much of the information, news and cultural options
available to Americans should be a chilling concept to most people,"
the lawmakers said. "The American public and Congress deserve an
opportunity to review and comment on your proposed changes before they
go into effect."

The Democrats included Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and
Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

The FCC could not immediately confirm the letter had been received.
Responding to similar letters from lawmakers sent in recent weeks,
Powell has said there is no reason to delay the vote.

Other lawmakers, mainly Republicans, and Commerce Secretary Donald
Evans have urged Powell to stay on schedule.

Powell and the two other Republicans on the commission favor loosening
regulations, an outcome sought by many large media companies that say
the rules are outdated and hurt business.

On Tuesday, the two Democrats on the five-member commission asked
Powell to push back the vote by a month to give them more time to
study an internal agency proposal that recommends easing ownership
restrictions. Powell said he would consider the request.

The proposed plan would allow companies to own more TV stations in
local markets, reaching more U.S. homes. It also would eliminate many
restrictions on one company owning combinations of newspapers and TV
and radio stations in the same city.

The National Rifle Association said Wednesday it had joined the ranks
of consumer groups, musicians, writers and academics who oppose easing
the restrictions. The NRA asked its members to write Powell and
lawmakers in support of the existing rules, said Wayne LaPierre, the
NRA's executive vice president.

"These big media conglomerates are already pushing out diversity of
political opinion," LaPierre said.

Earlier Wednesday, Republican FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy told
reporters she supports positions similar to those outlined in the
draft plan.

The FCC is considering allowing a single company to own TV stations
that reach 45 percent of U.S. households instead of the current 35
percent. Abernathy said she favors going as high as 50 percent.

The major TV networks want the cap eliminated. Smaller broadcasters
say a higher limit will allow the networks to buy more stations and
weaken local control of programming.

On the Net:

Federal Communications Commission: www.fcc.gov
--


           W. Curtiss Priest, Director, CITS
   Research Affiliate, Comparative Media Studies, MIT
      Center for Information, Technology & Society
         466 Pleasant St., Melrose, MA  02176
   781-662-4044  [log in to unmask] http://Cybertrails.org

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