Dec. 3, 2007 | Michael Copps doesn't want to be called a crusader. But as one of the two Democrats on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, he's not shy about sounding biblical. He says he's "blowing a loud trumpet" for a "call to battle" to stop the FCC from giving big media a generous Christmas present.
Copps is trying to defeat FCC chairman Kevin J. Martin's last-minute proposal to loosen media ownership rules, which will be voted on by Dec. 18. As it stands now, a company can't own both a daily newspaper and a broadcast outlet -- a radio or TV station -- in the same market without a waiver. In an Op-Ed piece in the New York Times on Nov. 13, Martin wrote that media companies in the 20 largest markets should be allowed to own both in the same market to bolster journalism. "If we don't act to improve the health of the ... industry," he wrote, "we will see newspapers wither and die ... and have fewer outlets for the expression of independent thinking and diversity of viewpoints."
The public, however, won't have much time to express its own diverse viewpoints on Martin's proposed rules. He unveiled his plan in the Times four days after the FCC's sixth, and last, hearing of the year on media ownership. The public has only until Dec. 11 to comment on the new rules, with the FCC voting on them within the following week.
The public took this plum away once, we can do it again--but only if we write! Time to get out those pens and paper. December 11 is very close. Sorry I don't have a link to send emails to to post, does someone else have one?