The White House and FCC Connection: New Giveaway to Big Media

THE WHITE HOUSE AND FCC CONNECTION: NEW GIVEAWAY TO BIG MEDIA
[SOURCE: Digital Destiny, AUTHOR: Jeff Chester]
[Commentary] The Bush Administration and the U.S. newspaper, broadcasting and telecommunications industry are now involved in subtle conversations/negotiations about media ownership policies that will likely have an impact on journalism. The newspaper and broadcast lobby wants the Administration’s help to over-turn what’s left of the media ownership safeguards. This week, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told a meeting of the powerful newspaper publishers lobby, that he—like his predecessor Michael Powell—was ready to hand them their key political objective: the scuttling of the broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership rule. That policy has helped ensure that one company in a community couldn't simultaneously operate the two most important sources of information: TV channels and the daily paper. The rule has also protected newspapers from being swept up into ratings-driven/show-biz focused TV industry empires. If the cross-ownership rule is axed, expect even less serious print reporting and more tabloid/infotainment TV-business models for dailies. Mr. Martin clearly doesn't have the facts with what’s causing the crisis in U.S. journalism today. Media consolidation and cost-cutting to please Wall Street has led to this crisis. Additional consolidation will further weaken the last vehicle currently capable of sustained and meaningful serious journalism: the daily newspaper. As we proceed into the 2006 election, it will be interesting to look at how both the newspaper and broadcast TV news operations treat the Bush agenda. Will it be -- as it was during the run up to the war in Iraq -- a subtle quid pro quo: you waive the rules and we'll waive the flag?
http://www.democraticmedia.org/jcblog/?p=19


The White House and FCC Connection: New Giveaway to Big Media