FCC Decision Is Good News for Media Monopolists

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el-vaquero-staff-writer/" class="creditline">BONNIE SCHINDLER
El Vaquero Staff Writer

Some people in this country want to take over the world; the rest of us just want the facts.

In the newest scheme to get Americans to believe in the ideals of a few rich men the Federal Communications Commission chairman, Michael Powell, has proposed a few changes in the way we get our news-you know, the way we formulate decisions that affect our lives.

The vote on June 2 gave the FCC the green light to allow corporations to buy up their smaller counterparts by cross-ownership between broadcast and print news.

The decision first came about after Powell wanted to overturn the rule that limits corporations from having ownership of broadcast stations and newspapers. Then the FCC wanted to allow two huge networks (such as NBC and FOX) to merge.

The FCC claims the “new limits on broadcast ownership are carefully balanced to protect diversity, localism, and competition in the American media system.”

I feel the community will be lost to national sources, as the media will cover the big stories the entire country will find useful and simply absorb the smaller news stories.

As a woman and a journalist, I feel directly affected and violated of my rights. Following the vote, I am still trying to figure out how on Earth this country works. I mean, the news is supposed to guide the reader to formulate his or her own ideas.

The mergers will allow the ideas and opinions of the people at the top of the conglomerate companies to trickle down to the reporters and America will ultimately believe what they are told.

As companies, such as FOX and NBC, become conglomerates the question regarding ownership of the media monopolies and who will work for them will certainly be a debate.

I for one am not going to stand around and allow the hard work of both women and minorities to be tossed aside. For years, woman and minorities have struggled and worked hard to be on top and there is no question that with the installment of mega-media ownership will bring back the re-installment of the old boy network will come layoffs. In addition, the truth on these issues may never be told.

Media should be able to distinguish the truth and tell it like it is. That is what the job entails, is it not?

Apparently not, as stated on the Newsday Web site, “broadcasters are now no longer legally required (from the FCC) to present both sides of an issue.”

So, that means the American public is going to be OK with a merger between those who take sides and those who do not? I find that hard to believe.

Imagine election time, when the broadcasters have already chosen a candidate for whom to root; the FCC already made the rule that, “broadcasters are no longer required to give opponents an opportunity to respond.”

The American public will have a hard time knowing who to vote for and which candidate will be better for society. The same ignorance going into decisions at the elections will go for both national and local news coverage.

Imagine a devastating event happening in your town.

Now imagine that the story never gets covered because the bigwigs of the local newspaper and broadcast station find the story to be overshadowed by the sports hero who killed his wife or the newest drink that a soda company is developing (mind you, the soft drink company is one of the main advertisers for that corporation).

In fact, all advertisements, which inevitably make the corporation money, will be made out to be the biggest and the best product or service, and members of the media will have to abide by policy and push for more folks to drink the soda of choice.

The companies will believe in their ads, their stocks and their bias and not believe in the truth, as that is not what sells.

The propaganda of TV sells, and that is what the FCC is proposing for newspapers, one giant unrealistic ball of nonsense, with one opinion.
One-sided news will be the way of the future; look at the recent rule that allowed the merger between radio stations.

With laid-back limits on how many channels a company can own, companies such as Clear Channel Communications owns more than 1,200 stations.
The Newsday Web site also mentions that Clear Channel uses new “digital tricks to make the same DJ sound local in dozens of different cities.”

If the sound of a DJ can be manipulated to sound like local patrons, then the news can also be controlled and views will be skewed and blurred.
We deserve the right to receive alternative views and facts, not just more media from which to hear the same bias.