FCC Ruling "Comes at Enormous Price to the Public Interest," Opines Prof. Kevin Howley

FCC Ruling "Comes at Enormous Price to the Public Interest," Opines Prof. Kevin Howley

January 1, 2008

Kevin Howley 2005.jpgJanuary 1, 2008, Greencastle, Ind. - "The Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Dec. 18 decision to 'relax' media ownership rules opens the door to a new wave of consolidation that will further erode the quality of U.S. news media," declares Kevin Howley, associate professor of communication at DePauw University. Writing for the Bloomington Alternative, Dr. Howley argues that the ruling "comes at an enormous price to the public interest."

The professor states, "According to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, the new rules will help the ailing newspaper industry compete with Internet news services for readership and advertising dollars by lifting a 30-year ban on newspaper-broadcast cross ownership. Martin contends that his 'modest' proposal is limited to the nation's 20 largest media markets. But as consumer advocacy and public interest groups, including Free Press and the Benton Foundation, have demonstrated, the ruling contains dozens of waivers and is riddled with loopholes that will have implications for media markets across the country."howley community media.jpg

Howley argues, "Media concentration shuts out independent voices, undermines local news operations and eviscerates investigative journalism in local communities. Rather than foster competition and media diversity, the FCC's ruling simply allows big media to get even bigger." He calls on citizens to lobby Congress "to revoke the FCC's ruling -- and to insist that the regulatory agency recommit itself to protecting 'the public interest, convenience and necessity.'"

Access the complete essay at College News.org.

Read more about Kevin Howley, who authored Community Media: People, Places, and Communication Technologies, in this previous story.