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Communications Workers File Objection

Two organizations have thrown their opinions into the ring as the Federal Communications Commission continues its review of broadcast ownership rules. Both the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) filed comments with the FCC this week as the agency examines its rules regulating cross-ownership of broadcast and print media outlets.

According to documents filed by NAB, the organization said local broadcasts provide national and local news, information and entertainment to the American public free of charge. Also, broadcasters participate in local communities by understanding their audience's needs and embracing an obligation to serve the public interest.

"The ban (on cross-ownership) inhibits the development of new innovative media services... and precludes struggling broadcast and newspaper entities, particularly those in smaller markets, from joining together to improve existing local news operations," the group said. "The commission and the court were correct in the last ownership review when they agreed that the blanket ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership no longer served the public interest."

But the CWA said the commission's broadcast media ownership rules are based on the First Amendment principle that the widest possible dissemination of information from "diverse and antagonistic" sources is essential to the public welfare. Further, the group said those rights were violated in the commission's 2002 review of ownership laws when the Third Circuit Court of Appeals rejected rules that would have allowed one company to own as many as three TV stations and the largest newspaper and multiple radio stations in the same community.

"CWA continues to believe that the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership rule provides the strongest protection against undue concentration in a local media market," the group said. If mergers are to be considered, the burden of proof must lie with the merging parties "to demonstrate that the combination is in the public interest; and with the requirement that the commonly owned media outlets maintain separate newsrooms and editorial staff."

www.SkyReport.com - used with permission
 

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Nick said:
Communications Workers File Objection
According to documents filed by NAB, the organization said local broadcasts provide national and local news, information and entertainment to the American public free of charge. Also, broadcasters participate in local communities by understanding their audience's needs and embracing an obligation to serve the public interest.
And exactly how do they do that when they buy a radio station, fire all the local talent and voice track everything from studios in NY or LA?
 
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