How Close Is Rupert Murdoch to Owning the L.A. Times and the Chicago Tribune?
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This letter comes after Sen. Maria Cantwell sent the FCC a letter on Thursday.
In it, she wrote:
FCC rules are supposed to serve the public interest. However, this proposed draft order appears to only serve the interest of large media companies that have made bad business decisions. There is no reason to do this. While it may be good for Wall Street, it is not good for Main Street.
Stearns noted that the chief lobbyist for Fox News and Murdoch were at the FCC two days ago lobbying for an even further relaxation of the rules. He said media corporations have lately held sway over the FCC.
Unfortunately, in recent years it’s become an agency that’s been really captured by the industry it’s supposed to be regulating. So we’ve seen over and over again these compromises happen that will really benefit big companies over the public interest.
Genachowski’s proposal is nearly identical to proposals FreePress fought against in 2003 and 2007. Barack Obama and Joe Biden were among the senators who blasted the FCC for their attempts at media consolidation. According to Stearns, Genachowski is Obama’s old law school friend, which “makes this all the more strange.” Although Obama has continuously spoken out against weakening of media ownership rules, even promising a push for media diversity during his 2008 campaign, he has remained silent on the FCC’s current proposal.
Stearns said it’s important that the FCC pushes for diverse ownership and localism, in which journalists keep a close watch on local politicians as well as explain how federal politicians and their policies are affecting the local community.
“All politics is local,” he said. “We need local journalists and local media to understand the communities that they’re working within. We can’t have absentee landlords over the public airwaves who don’t know their communities, who aren’t in touch with the people they’re serving and have no idea what issues are confronting people on a day-to-day basis.”
After all, if journalists don’t truly understand what’s going on in the community, members of the community will have a hard time understanding what’s going on as well. And the less people are informed, the less likely they are to get involved and fight for a more democratic society.