Think of the Public Before the Broadcasters

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[Commentary] As the son of a broadcast pioneer who got his license from the Department of Commerce in 1923 and as a former broadcaster myself, I read with great sadness “FCC to Lift Limits on Media Deals.” Although Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai justifies his proposal by saying it will lead to more news gathering locally and more news for consumers, my experience tells me it will be the opposite. First, viewers and listeners don’t need more news, they need better news. In my day the yardstick by which we decided what we covered was “Does the public need to know this?” Second, allowing ownership of multiple stations in a given market will drive the last nail in the coffin of the local “multiplicity of voices” that broadcasting originally sought to bring to the public. There will be but one voice, that of the corporate owner of the stations. Pai’s proposed changes are all about allowing the broadcasters to get bigger and make more money, and nothing about getting the public the fact-based, credible news we so drastically need. [Tom Morgan, Oviedo (FL)]


Think of the Public Before the Broadcasters