Fighting Media Consolidation

Who owns the media has a huge impact on the stories that get covered in our communities.

Today absentee corporations own more and more of our media. Focused only on the bottom line, they are cutting journalists, gutting newsrooms and replacing meaningful debate with celebrity gossip and junk news. And many of these corporations are dodging the Federal Communications Commission’s ownership rules to snap up more outlets and create media monopolies in markets throughout the country.

The more independent outlets a community has, the more different viewpoints will be presented on the air. But what happens when there’s no one left to compete? When one company owns everything in your town, it can cut staff and not worry about getting scooped by a competitor. The fewer reporters there are on the streets, the less journalism there is on the news. The fewer DJs there are at your local radio station, the more automated computers and pre-programmed playlists take over.

The FCC is supposed to preserve a competitive media landscape and ensure that broadcasters are good stewards of the public airwaves. The agency sets limits on how much of your local media one company can own. These limits are supposed to encourage stations to compete with one another to provide quality journalism. But powerful media companies have the FCC's ear, and over the years it has become easier for these companies to snatch up more of our local airwaves.

Our ownership chart reveals exactly who owns what. It’s time to change what’s wrong with this picture. We need the FCC to serve communities, not corporations.

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Press Releases

  • Free Press Builds Upon Mountain of Evidence Against Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable Merger

    December 23, 2014

    WASHINGTON -- In a filing to the Federal Communications Commission today Free Press defended its petition to deny the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable, building upon the mountain of evidence already amassed against the proposed $45 billion merger. If approved, the merger would result in a communications colossus that would dominate high-speed telecommunications services in more than 60 percent of the country.

  • Despite an FCC No-Show, New Yorkers Speak Out for the Open Internet

    October 28, 2014
    NEW YORK — The fight to save Net Neutrality and stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger came to Brooklyn on Monday night as an enthusiastic crowd of New Yorkers testified before five empty chairs, each representing one of the five FCC commissioners who either declined or failed to respond to the event organizers’ invitations to attend the public hearing in person.
  • TODAY: New York Leaders Join Public Hearing on Net Neutrality and the Comcast Merger

    October 27, 2014
    NEW YORK — The fight to save Net Neutrality and stop the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger is coming to Brooklyn on Mon., Oct. 27. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, New York City Mayoral Counsel Maya Wiley and former FCC Commissioner Michael Copps will join others in a public discussion about our rights to connect and communicate. The hearing will occur against the backdrop of two pending FCC decisions that could harm the open Internet.
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Resources

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News from Around the Web

  • Stern Words for AT&T's Tantrum Over Broadband

    Daily News
    November 20, 2014

    If AT&T can't get its way, it'll just take its toys and go home.

    The company's chief executive, Randall Stephenson, told an investment conference last week that AT&T will stop work on expanding super-fast Internet access nationwide because of President Obama's push for more oversight of broadband networks.

  • With Perspective from Both Sides of His Desk, FCC Chairman Ponders Net Neutrality

    New York Times
    September 28, 2014

    WASHINGTON — As a lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries, Tom Wheeler played a role in shaping almost every major telecommunications policy and innovation over the last three decades.

    None of them, though, have generated as much public interest as Net Neutrality, the policy most likely to define his time as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission.

  • Under New Owners, WJLA-TV Takes a Slight Turn to the Right

    Washington Post
    September 23, 2014

    There’s a new owner and a new approach to the news at WJLA-TV, Washington’s ABC affiliate. Under the direction of its ambitious corporate parent, the station’s news operations have taken a subtle but noticeable turn to the right.

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  • Covert Consolidation

    When you turn on the nightly news, you expect to find competing viewpoints and different perspectives from one station to the next. But in communities across the country, stations that were once fierce competitors have cut staff and merged their newsrooms, in many cases airing the same content on multiple stations in the same market. You can try to change the channel, but all you'll see is the exact same newscast.

  • Rupert Murdoch Scandal

    There are many reasons the scandal engulfing Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. has riveted public attention around the world. It's a story that features all of the classic elements: crimes, betrayal, abuse of power and even a cover-up.

  • Money, Media and Elections

    The Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision launched a new era of big-money politics. The wealthiest 1 percent now has even more power to pick and choose our nation’s leaders. And they’re spending the bulk of this money on televised political ads designed to mislead voters. (Click here to see Free Press' infographic depicting this dysfunctional dynamic.)

People + Policy

= Positive Change for the Public Good

people + policy = Positive Change for the Public Good