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Critics Turn Out To Protest Media Consolidation 

Even though the media landscape has changed radically since the last time the Federal Communications Commission tried to alter its media-ownership rules, a hearing at the FCC yesterday showed that the debate remains as heated as ever. 

A range of social, political and consumer groups that successfully petitioned a federal court to throw out the FCC's 2003 attempt to relax ownership rules is once again fighting to keep limits on how many radio and television stations conglomerates can buy.

controlling the world info...

Critics Turn Out To Protest Media Consolidation
By Frank Ahrens
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, November 1, 2007; D01

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The FCC began its review of the ownership rules 18 months ago, but protesters were energized to appear at yesterday's hearing by recent statements by FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, who has said he wishes to speed the matter to a conclusion soon.

The issue spurred some street theater outside the FCC building, where a group of about 100 gathered. A squad of activists dressed as cheerleaders donned sweaters reading "FCC" and cheered, "Two, four, six, eight, who do we consolidate?" The group listened to anti-consolidation remarks from Jesse Jackson as well as two FCC commissioners who have worked within the agency to limit media conglomerate growth.

FCC rules govern how many radio and television stations a company can own in a city and how many radio stations a company can own nationally. They also prevent one company from owning both a newspaper and a TV station in the same city, a rule likely to be lifted during the current review. The FCC, however, has no say in how many cable TV channels or newspapers a company can own, or how many Web sites or music companies it can control.

Nevertheless, media ownership has become a sort of all-comers cause for groups concerned about local ownership of media, female and minority ownership, conservative and liberal bias in media coverage, indecency, the lack of local news programming and the portrayal of race and ethnicity in television programming, all of which are made worse -- the groups argue -- by the continued growth of big media companies such as Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., Walt Disney Co. and CBS.

Journalism/PR to be exposed...

New Media Watch host blasts PR

Matthew Ricketson
November 28, 2007

Bad public relations as well as bad journalism will be targeted by ABC television's Media Watch next year, according to the program's new host.

Jonathan Holmes, a veteran reporter with ABC TV's Four Corners, said he hoped to "expose the more egregious antics of the industry that all too often tries to sway, or mislead, or simply stonewall journalists who are trying to do an honest job".

He said the public relations industry permeated government and business at every level and exerted undue "influence these days on what we read and hear and watch".

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