Notes to the FCC

This comes from the Alliance for Communications Democracy

“COMMUNITY GROUPS URGE FCC TO STRENGTHEN LOCAL, PUBLIC MEDIA CALL FOR
ENFORCEMENT OF LOCALISM RULES

WASHINGTON (May 13, 2010) — Hundreds of community groups and local
residents from across the country urged the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) this week to strengthen local democracy, media
diversity and public safety by supporting the nation’s largest network
of community-based media organizations — Public, Educational and
Government (PEG) Access cable TV centers.

“As local newspapers close, media companies consolidate, and national
broadcasters dominate radio & television, PEG Access centers are
increasingly the only source of community news, civic programming,
diverse views and local emergency information,” said Alliance for
Communications Democracy (ACD) President Rob Brading of MetroEast
Community Media in Gresham, Oregon.

As the FCC takes the pulse on media in America with its Future of Media
proceeding, ACD, a 22-year-old coalition of local media groups, sounded
the alarm that the FCC must take decisive action today to ensure that
tomorrow’s media landscape includes local voices and community access
to media infrastructure.

ACD called on the FCC to enforce laws that prevent cable and video
giants from discriminating against local PEG channels. ACD specifically
urged the FCC to take action against AT&T’s U-verse cable system that
degrades PEG quality and functionality.

“There is a very real threat to our democratic institutions and way of
life if there is not a sufficiently broad range of opinions expressed
in the media and there is no practical means by which the average
citizen can participate in the public dialogue.” said Dr. Laura Linder,
a professor of communication at Marist College in New York.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski launched the Future of Media proceeding
“to assess whether all Americans have access to vibrant, diverse
sources of news and information that will enable them to enrich their
lives, their communities and our democracy.”

The Chairman’s call for comments was a met by outpouring of voices
describing how the nation’s 3,000 PEG Access centers are critical to
local democracy and civic participation in communities nationwide. ”

For more on the impressive value of public access visit WCCA TV

There is no better exampel of democracy in action in media than public access television, especially non-profit centers.

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