Thursday, September 21, 2006

Workshop 1 - Wednesday, Sept. 27

Overview - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates the size and ownership interests of an increasingly wide variety of media companies. The FCC is proposing to set several new ownership rules and limits which would increase the amount of media properties one company can own in one city or market across distribution media and sub-categories. Radio ownership limits were eliminated in 1996 with negative consequences to public interest, including issues around local information, along with cultural and political sandbagging.

Public interest and media reform organizations have fought back against consolidation. They have asserted that changes would discourage diversity and allow an individual company to dominate public discourse and unfairly influence public opinion. They assert that a greater number of owners means more competition and a wider variety of individuals making decisions about what the American people see and hear.

Presenters - Dr. Hasan Crockett will discuss how radio ownership rules changes have created monopolies, such as Clear Channel, which have significantly skewed and shrunk the music, political opinions and news which millions of people hear. A profoundly negative impact has been felt in access to positive lyrics in hip-hop music and in news & information reflecting anti-war or anti-government positions.

Bruce Dixon, author of
The Black Commentator, will also be on hand to discuss pressing and salient media ownership issues.


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