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Nationwide May 29th FCC Rallies Planned! (english)
by Mercedes Saint
Email: MercedesSaint (nospam) yahoo.com
Address: Boston, MA
29 May 2003
Across America tomorrow, voice your opinion about the FCC deregualtion proceedings!
The FCC is poised to approve the most dramatic changes to media ownership regulations in decades. Leading the charge is FCC Chairman Michael Powell, Colin Powell's son, who essentially declared war on diversity in media at the same time that his father was spearheading the war against Iraq.
We have already seen the effects of the 1996 media deregulation: five television companies--General Electric (MSNBC and NBC), News Corp (Fox), Disney (ABC), AOL-Time Warner (CNN), and Viacom (CBS)--have a stranglehold on what information the public gets to know, and corporate radio behemoths like Clear Channel Communications devour local radio stations and replace them with McRadio. If Powell has his way, the situation will get even worse; there will be nothing standing in the way of media companies' drive for profits at the expense of our democracy.
Despite enormous opposition, Powell is pushing for a June 2 vote on his media deregulation proposal. At the same time that we1re lobbying the FCC Commissioners and our member of Congress to oppose the new media rules, we need to take our opposition to the streets!
MAY 29 PROTEST AT CLEAR CHANNEL RADIO
Clear Channel Communications is the poster child of everything that's wrong with media deregulation. After the media deregulation of 1996, Clear Channel gobbled up hundreds of radio stations throughout the country and now owns more than 1200 stations nationwide, dominating the audience share in 100 of 112 major markets. Not only is the company the world's largest radio broadcaster, it1s also the world largest concert promoter and billboard advertising firm.
Clear Channel's monopolistic practices have accelerated the homogenization of our airwaves. The company promotes cookie-cutter style radio that has urban stations throughout the country seemingly playing the same seven songs. It shuts out independent artists who can't afford to go through high-priced middlemen and is responsible for taking the practice of voice tracking to new heights. Voice tracking creates brief, computer-assisted voice segments that attempt to fool the listener into thinking that a program is locally produced, when in fact the same content is being broadcast to upwards of 75 stations nationwide from a central site.
Clear Channel also uses its stations to promote its right-wing political agenda. After September 11, the company came to the public's attention when executives circulated a list of blacklisted songs including John Lennon's Imagine and Cat Stevens' Peace Train. This year Clear Channel became one of the first media companies in recent times to sponsor a political rally--they sponsored pro-war rallies in cities around the country before and during the war on Iraq.
If the FCC passes Michael Powell's proposed new media rules, companies like Clear Channel and Fox will be given even more control over the public airwaves than they already have. And we are likely to see in television the same type of feeding frenzy we saw in the radio industry after the 1996 media deregulation.
No more Clear Channels! Stop the FCC media deregulation!
On June 2, the Federal Communications Commission is planning on
authorizing sweeping changes to the American news media. The rules
change could allow your local TV stations, newspaper, radio stations,
and cable provider to all be owned by one company. NBC, ABC, CBS and
Fox could have the same corporate parent. The resulting concentration
of ownership could be deeply destructive to our democracy.
Congress is supposed to guard against monopoly power. But the
upcoming rule change could change the landscape for all media and
usher in an era in which a few corporations control your access to
news and entertainment. Please join me in asking Congress and the
FCC to support a diverse, competitive media landscape by going to:
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