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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon vote on new rules allowing companies to further monopolize media outlets in the communities they serve,. Critics are calling the impending vote a sort of Christmas present for Rupert Murdoch, who reportedly hopes to add the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune to his U.S. media empire.
As a handful of media conglomerates proceed to gobble up independent broadcasters and newspapers nationwide, the resulting hollowing-out of the newsroom has in turn produced “a dumbed-down civic dialogue” to the point where self-government may become impossible, says former FCC Commisioner Michael Copps. In his view, the government shares responsibility for this state of affairs, “because the FCC seldom met a merger that it didn’t like.” He also blames the "evisceration of public interest guidelines that broadcasters used to have to observe . . . to serve the public interest and maintain competition, localism and diversity.” In this interview he makes the case for a progressive media reform policy.
With Michael Copps, former FCC Commissioner who retired from the agency at the end of last year. Mr. Copps is now Senior Advisor for the Media and Democracy Reform Initiative at Common Cause.
Radio interview by Amy Grunder, first aired live on Sounds of Dissent on WZBC 90.3 FM Boston on December 8, 2012.
Sounds of Dissent has aired since 1998 on WZBC 90.3 FM in Greater Boston. Catch us every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Eastern Time. Live streams & archive links at wzbc.org.