Public Interest and Media Justice Groups Ask FCC to Address Diversity Problem in Media

Say YES to media justice. The following goes much further than, let’s say, a Google FTTH experiment. Wiring is currently in place in many municipalities. The capacity and technology to meet broadband levels much higher than Google’s recent announcement that it plans to install 1-Gbps FTTH networks, is available. I believe the road blocks for this has primarily been cable/telecom’s strategy for monetizing higher up and down load speeds. Franchise licensing has nothing to do with. That I can address again later. The hold up, regarding faster speeds, and the fact that there still are communities that do not have access, is more related to market cost for the providers. All of this has a negative impact on communities. Some are taking issue with this.

For example read this article from the Free Press:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 9, 2010
Contact: Liz Rose, Communications Director, Free Press, 202-265-1490 x 32 or
lrose@freepress.net

WASHINGTON — A coalition of media justice and public interest organizations sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski yesterday, calling on the agency to make increased diversity in the media and broadband communications landscape a top priority. The groups issued the following joint statement:
“Historically marginalized communities still face countless barriers to their own members’ provision and ownership of communications services. The Communications Act instructs the Commission to examine these barriers and take steps to eliminate them. This Commission has taken strides in this area, yet much work remains to be done to address persistent and growing digital divides.”
“We urge the Commission to implement better data-gathering practices regarding the ownership of media outlets by minorities and women, and to examine diversity in pending proceedings at the Commission. For instance, we ask that extensive studies be conducted regarding the potential impact of the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal on the diversity of voices in ownership and programming.”
The signatories to the letter include Afro-Netizen; Alliance for Community Media; Benton Foundation; Professor Angela Campbell of Georgetown Law; the Center for Media Justice; the Center for Rural Strategies; Free Press; Main Street Project; Media Access Project; Media Alliance; Mountain Area Information Network; the National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture; the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; the National Federation of
Community Broadcasters; Public Knowledge; Reclaim the Media; Texas Media Empowerment Project; United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc.; and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Read the letter here:

Read the letter here in pdf form

Thanks to Rob McCausland from the ACM for sharing this.

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