FCC's New Media Ownership Rules Fail the Test

The Federal Communications Commission adopted new media ownership rules. The following statement may be attributed to Benton Foundation Executive Director Adrianne B. Furniss:

From the earliest days of broadcasting, federal regulation has sought to foster the provision of programming that meets local community needs and interests. The FCC’s rules have been rooted in the core values of localism, competition, and diversity. The changes to the rules adopted today fail those values. The new rules will not encourage local ownership of media outlets. The new rules will not create competitive local markets that are more responsive to community needs. In the past, the FCC has held that the greater the diversity of ownership in a particular area, the less chance there is that a single person or group can have an inordinate effect -- in a political, editorial, or similar programming sense -- on public opinion at the regional level. Today’s action fails this test -- and fails our democracy.