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Politics and Economy:
Big Media
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FCC and Media Deregulation Sites

Below are sites which contain more information about the issue of media deregulation and ways to take action on either side of the issue. The FCC site provides an area to make views on deregulation known, and provides contact information for the agency.

Center for Digital Democracy
The Web site of the Center for Digital Democracy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving media diversity, provides information regarding the issue of media concentration. The Center highlights the 1945 Supreme Court decision (Associated Press v. United States) which maintains that mergers that narrow the dissemination of information are unconstitutional. Other features include press headlines, articles, and resource links.

The Center for Public Integrity
The non-partisan watchdog group recently released a new study on the workings of the FCC called "Well Connected." The study contains several items of note:

  • A Travel report documenting FCC trips and expenses paid for by industry groups.
  • Databases enabling you to find out who owns what media outlets in your own neighborhood.
  • A survey of the media ownership in the hometowns of the five FCC commissioners.
  • Documentation on how the FCC gathers and disseminates its data on media ownership.

Colombia Journalism Review: Who Owns What?
"Who Owns What?" by the Colombia Journalism Review (CJR) features a list of media conglomerates and what they own. The page also provides a selected list of articles from the CJR archive on media concentration.

Consumer Federation of America
The Consumer Federation of America provides press releases, studies, brochures, and testimony to educate the American public about telecommunications issues and to advocate for pro-consumer policies.

Consumers Union: Nonprofit Publisher of Consumer Reports
The Consumers Union Web page, devoted to telephone-telecommunications regulation, provides a long list of articles, studies, and research describing how the deregulation of the telecommunications industry in 1996 has hurt consumers.

Economic and Political Consequences of the 1996 Telecommunications Act
Thomas Hazlett of the American Enterprise Institute argues that the 1996 Telecommunications Act resulted both in benefits to consumers and in "megamergers" that have benefited stockholders and market function. He contends that increased competition in the market had an effect on the political process, where the Telecommunications industry outspent all other industries in political contributions.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The Federal Communication Commission is an independent government organization accountable to Congress. The FCC regulates "interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable" within U.S. jurisdiction. The FCC Web site features a special section on media ownership which includes information on the Broadcast-Newspaper Cross-Ownership Rule and the Local Radio Ownership Rule in the form of announcements, press releases, and policy studies.

The Telecommunications Act of 1996
This Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Web page is devoted to the landmark Telecommunications Act of 1996, which promoted deregulation of the telecommunication industry (cable, long distance telephone service, local telephone service, and broadband) to create a competitive communications market and deliver better services and prices to consumers. The Web site features the complete text of the legislation and provides relevant FCC materials related to the implementation and guidelines of the Act.

FRONTLINE: The Merchants of Cool - Media Giants
On PBS.org, the FRONTLINE Web site features a diagram of the seven largest media conglomerates and their numerous holdings. This information is provided within a larger context, asking how media mega-mergers and the products they sell affect children's psychological development.

Media Access Project
The Media Access Project (MAP) is a public interest telecommunications law firm dedicated to promoting what they call "the public's First Amendment right to hear and be heard on the electronic media of today and tomorrow." MAP covers a broad spectrum of issues concerning electronic media, including media consolidation, broadband access, Internet governance, promoting civic discourse, and protecting free speech. MAP's Media Consolidation Web page provides an overview of the telecommunications industry and its regulator, the FCC, and documents recent attacks on media-ownership limits and why the repeal of these limits harms citizens.

Media Matters for America
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Conservative misinformation is defined as news or commentary presented in the media that is not accurate, reliable, or credible and that forwards the conservative agenda.

Rep. Bernie Sanders
One of the main players in Congress fighting to keep limits on media ownership is Representative Bernie Sanders (I-VT). On his Web site, Rep. Sanders organizes a set of articles and releases on Corporate Media issues.

US Capitalism and the Public Interest: Restoring the Balance in Electricity and Telecommunications
Dr. Marc Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America argues that the deregulatory effort of the 1990s in the electricity and telecommunications industries has upset the delicate balance between private interest and public responsibilities. Dr. Cooper concludes that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must reassert their regulatory responsibilities to salvage public interests.

What's Wrong With This Picture?
Crispin Miller of THE NATION magazine describes and analyzes the media cartel that has integrated all cultural industries into a few large corporations. Miller fears that American culture will become more homogenous with less dissent and fewer independent voices..

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