December 12, 2004
FCC Public Hearing
On thursday night, I attended the FCC public hearing on media consolidation at Hamline University. With FCC commissioner Jonathon Adelstein present, the hearing gave an opportunity to citizens to voice their concerns over media consolidation. With well over 2000 people in attendence, the meeting was lively and informative. Commissioner Adelstein began with a speech about his concerns over media consolidation. He was against the recent relaxing of media ownership laws, and was happy to tell the audience that the new rules had been frozen by federal courts and were to be reviewed again. Next, a panel of guests representing various local media groups, professors, and journalists spoke of their concerns over media consolidation. Their testimonies were genuine, sometimes emotional, and all concluded that media consolidation has hurt the quality of local media. Finally, citizens were allowed to comment. Most of the comments were directed at Commissioner Adelstein, and ranged from concern over poor minority perceptions in media to disapproval of the recent sale of St. Olaf radio station WCAL to Minnesota Public Radio. In the end, I am not sure how big of an impact this hearing had on media consolidation because everyone in attendence was in aggreement that big media is a bad thing. It surely would have been more interesting if there had been more diversity of thought. But, none the less, the meeting was meaningful to those in attendence and was a great example of democracy in action.
Posted by beng0061 at December 12, 2004 6:23 PM
What are your thoughts about this consolidation issue? It seems this entry was more of a summary, which is great too. I didn't realize there was a public hearing, I may have attended. Consolidation of media is a HUGE issue! Local media hurts the most, it's a matter of the big guys vs. the little guys. Most importantly, I think media consolidation limits individuality of the different outlets and gives the larger corporations too much power. Media is a powerful tool. What the public sees and hear should not have limitations or that much control. I also realize that the US is a free market economy. But, this is just my opinion.
Posted by: sylvie at December 13, 2004 5:59 PM
Couldn't agree with you more, Sylvie. Unfortunately, under our current government, money always wins out, and the media industry is no exception. After attending the hearing, it seemed so apparent that the public is adamently against consolidation. It does not seem as if the FCC is representing the public's opinion on this issue. But it doesn't matter; big media will buy the outcome of this issue by spending millions of dollars on lobbying in Washington.
Posted by: Nick B. at December 13, 2004 9:59 PM