Town Meeting on the Future of Media in Asheville

FCC Commissioners to Headline ‘Town Meeting on the Future of Media’ in Asheville

June 28 forum will offer rare opportunity for North Carolinians to speak directly to Washington decision-makers

Federal Communications Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps will visit Asheville, N.C., on June 28 to listen to local citizens’ concerns about media consolidation. This “Town Meeting on the Future of the Media” is a rare opportunity for the public to participate directly in crafting media policies that serve their community.

WHAT: Town Meeting on the Future of Media

WHEN: Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Ferguson Auditorium in the Laurel Building at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Asheville, North Carolina.

WHO: FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps, local leaders and media representatives, concerned citizens.

The Town Meeting on the Future of the Media is taking place as the FCC prepares to review federal rules on media ownership. Shortly before the event, the FCC is expected to propose changing how many television stations one company can own in a single market and whether one company should be allowed to own television stations, radio stations and the major daily newspaper in the same market.

“For far too long, major decisions about the media have been made behind closed doors without any public involvement,” said Josh Silver, executive director of Free Press, a national, nonpartisan media policy group that has helped organize similar hearings across the country. “Media consolidation has come at the expense of investigative journalism, local coverage, and meaningful political dialogue. This forum will give citizens in North Carolina a chance to participate directly in the debate over the future of media ownership.”

The forum, which is free and open to the public, will feature panel discussions on how media concentration affects local news and information. The forum will also include an open microphone session for the public to offer testimony on media issues to Commissioners Adelstein and Copps. All testimony will be recorded and submitted to the FCC and North Carolina’s elected officials.

"The disappearance of local voices from the public airwaves is a concern shared by citizens of all political stripes,” said Wally Bowen, executive director of the Mountain Area Information Network. “With Congress and the FCC revisiting many of our current media rules, this is an historic opportunity for real public input on the future of the media."

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