Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 9:11am
EFFECTS OF MEDIA OWNERSHIP CONSOLIDATION ON URBAN BLACK COMMUNITIES
[SOURCE: Lasar's Letter on the FCC, AUTHOR: Matthew Lasar]
At today's FCC media ownership hearing in Chicago, Karen Bond Executive Director National Black Coalition for Media Justice, will appear on one of the discussion panels. She's likely to say that Black communities are in crisis because radio stations serving predominantly black urban areas across the country are now owned, in large part, by a single corporation. As a result, the number of competitive, independent sources for news and information in black communities nationwide has been significantly reduced. Because of unequal access to other means of mass communications, black radio has played a unique and historically significant role in the ability of black people (and, in particular, black politicians) to advance in this society. Although much of the Chicago focus has been on corporations like Clear Channel, it is important to remember that Clear Channel is only doing what the law allows them to do. Eventually, the only just solution may be a corporate divestiture of media outlets in cases where civil rights and antitrust violations have taken place. We ask that the FCC: 1) enforce the antitrust laws that are already on the books 2) safeguard any civil rights infringed upon by media ownership consolidation, and 3) compensate for the special circumstances media ownership consolidation has created in disadvantaged communities across the country.
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