Tell the FCC To Hold Public Hearings on Media Ownership Rules

The Consumers Union is running a campaign to get the FCC to hold public hearings before it engages its next attempt to rewrite media ownership rules. As part of the campaign they’re featuring a fun song and music video about media consolidation called “The Tower.” I think they should send CDs of the song to community radio stations around the country, since there’s a good chance that it would get a decent amount of play that way.

This is a critical time for the media ownership battle, since it’s my guess that the issue has fallen off a lot of people’s radars after the Third Circuit sent back the FCC’s attempt to loosen restrictions. But that didn’t signal the end of the battle, just another round, since the FCC still has a mandate to review and rewrite.

The first time around then-Chairman Powell did his best to keep the public out of the process, which backfired famously. My guess is that current Chair Kevin Martin is more savvy than that, but I also think he’d prefer minimize the amount of public input as much as possible.

The CU is running a petition asking the FCC to hold at least 10 public hearings on media ownership as part of its campaign. I’m not certain if it’s a real petition — just a list of signatories — or whether it’s an automated letter to the FCC. I tend to think on-line petitions aren’t worth much. But an automated letter to the FCC is very useful, since a deluge of comments can make a difference on Commission staff, and make it a more dicey proposition for the FCC to ignore the demands of thousands of average folks.