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#147#148#149#150 Episode #151 - Media Ventriloquism
(San Francisco public hearings on the FCC and Media Consolidation, part 1)



Mon 28 April 2003  Jonathan Adelstein (FCC Commissioner), Ben Bagdikian, Jeff Perlstein and many more
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Download Hour1 Download Hour2This week we focus on the role of media consolidation on news and civic discourse, using audio from the 2003-04-26 public hearings on the FCC and Media Consolidation held at San Francisco city hall and organized by Media Alliance,
The broadcast spectrum nominally belongs to the people of the United States and the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC, is the federal agency responsible for licensing the use of the spectrum in order to ensure that the public good is served. In practice however, the FCC, under orders from Congress, has regulated the spectrum mainly for the for the benefit of media corporations, who in turn control the politicians access to viewers and listeners.

The passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act has already eliminated many of the regulations that, in the past, were designed to protect diversity and localism in media ownership. Since then, one company has bought up its rivals to the extent that it now owns more than 1200 radio stations in the United States. That company, Clear Channel, based in San Antonio, Texas, was recently sponsoring pro-war rallies and banned airplay of musicians critical of Bush.

The present FCC Chairman Michael Powell, son of Secretary of State Colin Powell, wants to eliminate the few remaining barriers to ownership consolidation, so that one corporation might control the radio, TV, and newspaper in a given community. Powell is attempting to ram through these changes by June 2, with little to no public knowledge that a decision that will fundamentally determine who controls what is reported as news is about to be made. Public interest broadcasters and media democracy activists have raised the alarm, and organized a series of hearings around the country to speak out against lowering the bar to further consolidation.
Please support Media Alliance for their work in this.
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