Over the past several years, NOW has
consistently reported on the topic of media ownership. The Federal
Communications Commission (FCC) was created in 1934 with jurisdiction
over radio, interstate telephone communication, and later television.
But the FCC has always struggled with a fundamental lack of clarity
about its proper functions. In its mission to serve the public interest,
should the FCC crack down on indecency on the airwaves? Should it use
its power to rescind the licenses of wayward stations? The FCC continues
to face such questions. Get background information on some of the FCC's
more recent decisions below:
UPDATES: Since the FCC voted on the rule
changes there have been developments in the courts and in Congress.
October 8, 2003: NBC said it would purchase the entertainment
arm of Vivendi Universal for $3.8 billion.
September 3, 2003:
a federal appeals court in Philadelphia issued an order blocking the
rule changes from taking effect. (Read the ruling.)
4, 2003: The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a spending bill
that contained a provision that would effectively block the ownership
July 23, 2003: The House voted 400-21 to
approve a spending bill that included a provision to block the FCC
decision to allow major television networks to own up to 45% of the
country's viewers. The Bush administration has voiced opposition to the
attempt to rescind the FCC ruling.
Stay tuned in to Congress to find out what's in store for the
future of media deregulation.