What the FCC, and the ‘Media,’ has in Mind for You

Reading between the lines, there’s some reason to believe that the term “Fairness Doctrine” is on the way out, with FCC Commissioner, Michael Copps’ term, “American Media Contract,” the new nuance. To see the FreePress article and the headline, click on American Media Contract, and for more in-depth background on the original doctrine, how it came to be and why it isn’t around anymore see, The Fairness Doctrine: A Chilly Effect.

If the Fairness Doctrine (or some version of it) becomes law, here’s some tid-bits from the Jan. 12-14-07 National Conference for Media Reform in Memphis, and what the FCC wants for you and me:

This from FCC Commissioner Michael Copps’ speech:

“We expect these:
1. A right to media that strengthens our democracy
2. A right to local stations that are actually local
3. A right to media that looks and sounds like America
4. A right to news that isn’t canned and radio playlists that aren’t for sale
5. A right to programming that isn’t so damned bad so damned often”

My questions about Copps’ expectations are this:
1. Who decides what America looks and sounds like?
2. Who decides the news is “canned” or not?…and most importantly,
3. Who decides what strengthens our democracy, or doesn’t?

This is how Mr. Copps describes the television you and I have access to now:
“And what do the American people — who own the public airwaves, by the way — get in return? Too little news, too much baloney passed off as news. Too little quality entertainment, too many people eating bugs on reality TV. Too little local and regional music, too much brain-numbing national play-lists. Too little of America, too much of Wall Street and Madison Avenue….”

Guest speakers for the conference were Jane Fonda, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Danny Glover, Helen Thomas, Geena Davis, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Bill Moyers as keynote. There were others but I do not have background on them.

Go to The National Conference for Media Reform to read it on their website, which is also a FreePress URL.

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