The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is a piece of the Federal Government that we are all quite familiar with. Recently, the FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski began to share a proposal that would reform – or gut, depending on your view – rules concerning media consolidation.
Specifically, the proposed changes would allow a company to own both a television station and newspaper in the same area. Several Senators are crying foul over the changes.
Senator Bernie Sanders stated that “We cannot live in a vibrant democracy unless people get divergent sources of information.” Senator Maria Cantwell promised everything in her power to halt the changes from being enacted. Sen. Cantwell also promised a vote of disapproval from Congress if the changes went into effect, which would nullify them.
If this sounds familiar, you are right: we’ve been here before. As The Hill notes, the “Senate voted against the FCC’s attempt to loosen media ownership rules in 2008 [...]. A court eventually threw out those changes.”
It appears doubtful that this time around, with the current makeup of Congress being what it is, that the changes have much of a chance of making it into the light of day. Fretting about broadcast television channels and print newspaper rules may sound archaic, but in many smaller markets, such mediums may be the only conduit for much key news.
The goal behind this is to keep media diverse, and competitive, thus preventing monopoly and a stagnant, ignorant electorate.
Top Image Credit: ttarasiuk