Minority Ownership and Employment in the Mass Media: A Path to Power?

Because of the powerful influence of the mass media on democratic process as well as on shaping perceptions about who we are, the civil rights movement has long regarded expanding minority and female ownership and employment in broadcasting as important goals. For more than two decades, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) promoted minority ownership and employment in broadcasting and cable, but progress has been halted by a conservative federal judiciary. However, an aggressive effort by the FCC to permit vastly increased broadcast ownership consolidation at the expense of minority ownership has been reversed by Congress and the courts. Because the FCC efforts to revisit these issues in the coming months will be the subject of Congressional oversight, this is a timely moment to examine the role of minorities in the mass media.

A distinguished and diverse panel of speakers will review the most recent data available and discuss viable solutions and policy recommendations. Confirmed speakers include:


Karen McGill Lawson, Executive Director, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund


Gloria Tristani, Managing Director, Office of Communication, United Church of Christ, Inc. and

former FCC commissioner


Mark Lloyd, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress and member, LCCREF board
Andrew Jay Schwartzman, President and CEO, Media Access Project
David Honig, Executive Director, Minority Media and Telecommunications Council
Katherine Grincewich, Associate General Counsel, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
Celia Viggo Wexler, Vice President for Advocacy, Common Cause

About the LCCREF Media and Communications Project

The Media and Communications Project was developed to help the national civil rights community play a central role in the policy debates shaping the nation’s media and communications landscape. At its core, communications policy is about equal opportunity and equal access to important local and national resources, such as education, health care, and economic equality.

For more information about LCCREF, visit www.civilrights.org.

**SAVE THE DATE: The next LCCREF briefing, “Content Matters,” is scheduled for December 6, 2005.