Members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee urged the Federal Communications Commission to steer clear of proposals that would allow for more media consolidation until the agency has studied the impact such rules would have on localism and diversity. The letter pointed out that the Internet is not a replacement for local news coverage and reminded the Commission it has a congressional mandate to protect and promote localism.
On Dec. 10, Rep. John Lewis, Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairman Rep. Charles Gonzalez and Co-Chairmen of the Congressional Progressive Caucus Reps. Keith Ellison and Raul Grijalva sent a letter signed by 44 House members to the Federal Communications Commission. The letter addresses concerns about how the FCC’s proposal to relax its media ownership rules will impact diversity.
On Nov. 30, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Patrick Leahy, Tom Harkin, Barbara Boxer, Patty Murray, Ron Wyden, Jon Tester, Al Franken and Jeff Merkley sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski about his proposal to weaken longstanding media ownership rules.
The airwaves belong to all of us. Broadcasters don’t pay
a cent for their use of this valuable public resource. They are required to do
only one thing in return: help fulfill the news and information needs of the
communities in which they broadcast.