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FCC changes regulations governing ownership of media outlets

This past Tuesday, in a 3-2 vote, the Federal Communications Commission relaxed some of the restrictions on media ownership, creating great rancor among public media watchdog groups and a number of concerned United States senators. Under the new changes a company can now own a newspaper and a television station in the same city, something which had not been possible for thirty years. In the largest media markets, a single company can potentially own up to three TV stations, eight radio stations, the cable TV system, cable TV stations, and a daily newspaper. Michael Powell, the FCC Chairman, remarked that it was important for the FCC to facilitate “building modern rules that take proper account of the explosion of new media outlets for news, information, and entertainment.” In response to this decision, on Thursday a majority of senators who sit on the agency’s oversight committee responded they would attempt to roll back or modify the changes. Numerous senators expressed confusion and outrage at the FCC’s decision, including Senator Byron L. Doran, a Democrat from North Dakota, who remarked that “It looks for all the world like you c ould not or would not stand up to corporate interests.”

The first link leads to a news article from the Chicago Sun-Times about the FCC’s recent decision to modify the media ownership regulations. The second link will take visitors to a Washington Post article that reports on the response of a group of United States senators to the recent decision made by the FCC. The third link leads to a press release from the FCC that outlines the new regulations. The fourth link leads to a transcript of oral testimony offered by Michael Powell before the Committee on Commerce, Sciences, and Transportation this past Wednesday. The fifth link will take viewers to a video clip on Mr. Powell commenting on the FCC vote. The final link leads to a recent staff editorial from the Seattle Times expressing grave concern over the decision made by the FCC, and calls on Congress to intervene. [KMG]
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Date of Scout Publication 2003-06-06
Archived Scout Publication URL https://scout.wisc.edu/Reports/ScoutReport/2003/scout-030606#IntheNews

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