ACLU Urges Restoration of Reasonable Limits on Media Cross-Ownership

May 15, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: (202) 675-2312 or media@dcaclu.org

WASHINGTON, DC -- The ACLU urges members of Congress to support a resolution (S.J. Res 28), reversing the FCC’s Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule.   

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, director of the ACLU’s Washington Legislative Office:

“The new rules create enough loopholes for the merger of just about any broadcast station with any newspaper in any market.  The consequences of greater media consolidation are no small matter. The concentration of TV, radio and newspaper ownership means fewer and less diverse opinions over the public airwaves.  As a result, citizens depend on more and more homogeneous news and information.

“Our democracy requires the participation of an informed citizenry.  Journalism that fails to speak truth to corporate and government power hurts our ability to make sound choices as consumers and voters.

“Under the pre-December FCC rules, media companies had been already consolidated to the point that threatened our marketplace and public debate.  Six major companies control most of the media in the country, including the most popular sites on the Internet.  Three titans, Comcast, AOL and Time Warner, own 40 percent of households with cable and a single company owns 1200 radio stations. 

“With passage of Senator Dorgan’s resolution, Congress will direct the FCC to prevent further consolidation.  The Murdochs of the industry argue that further consolidation will offer Americans more media outlets over the Internet, TV, radio and print.   But it is still a handful of corporations controlling everything we read, watch, listen to.  We urge Congress to take the lead in returning the limits on media cross-ownership to their pre-December rules.”

Link to the ACLU’s letter urging passage of the joint resolution on broadcast ownership:
/freespeech/gen/34734leg20080401.html

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