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URBANICITY.info

WE, THE CITIZENS, OWN THE AIRWAVES. THE FCC, ON OUR BEHALF, GIVES LICENSES TO BROADCASTERS.

WELCOME TO URBANICITY
SENSING URBANITY
LISTENING FOR WORDS
VIEWING IMAGES OF MYSTERY
LOVING MUSIC
READING FOR LIVING
CELEBRATING THE MIND
TRAVELING TO EXPLORE
SEARCHING THE FUTURE
MAKING A DIFFERENCE

BIG MEDIA IS RAVENOUS. IT NEVER GETS ENOUGH. IT ALWAYS WANTS MORE. IS OUR RIGHT TO INFORMATION BEING SERVED?
 
Why you should care about the FCC...

Our Federal Communications Commission:

The FCC was created by an act of Congress in 1934. Its purpose is to "make available to all the people of the United States, without discrimination, a rapid, efficient nationwide and worldwide wire and radio communication service with adequate facilities at reasonable charges."

The current power of the 5-commissioner FCC (members are appointed by the president, with Senate confirmation) is rooted in the Communications Act of 1934, which has been amended numerous times.

The Communications Satellite Act of 1962 expanded FCC regulatory powers over radio and television, telegraph, telephone, two-way radio, satellite communications, and cable television.

The FCC’s most important power is to license, renew licenses, and revoke licenses of broadcast entities. Its authority is based on the idea that the airwaves belong to the public, so broadcasters should consider "public interest, convenience, and necessity" when deciding what to air.

As with every member of Congress, the FCC is influenced by the strong and steady lobbying efforts of the giant conglomerates of the phone and cable industries who urge legislation favoring their bottom line/stock price. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 was a give-away to media power players.

Mergers continue in an effort to gain broadcast domination. Today, the behemoths of the media industry control 80% of our access to information. Two-thirds of newspapers are monopolies.

Its getting worse as rampant consolidation and mega-media mergers continue at a brisk pace (2007 began with AT&T grabbing Southern Bell).

Is our right to information being served?

Words from some FCC watchdogs...

"The new deregulation rules could stifle debate, inhibit new ideas, and shutout smaller businesses trying to compete."

- Ted Turner, founder of CNN

"At the turn of the 20th century, we had President Theodore Roosevelt going after the monopolies and cartels. People understood that the public good was being sacrificed at the altar of the plutocracies. But where are the American people today in demanding diverse ownership of the airwaves? And where is Congress when they should be stopping the overreach of the giant broadcasting conglomerates?

- Journalist Helen Thomas

"The FCC’s pro-industry, anti-regulatory philosophy has effectively ended the right of access to broadcast television by any but the moneyed interests."

- Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

"In a free and open society, in a democratic republic, you need a free and open discussion of the issues. We don’t have that today."

- Congressman Maurice Hinchey

"The FCC rules will lead to even fewer media giants owning and controlling what people see, hear, and read in America. That’s truly dangerous because the health of our democracy depends on multiple viewpoints being debated. When you have only a few companies controlling everything, you get one corporate view.

"This is not a partisan issue or an ideological one. You have people all over the political spectrum fighting against (the FCC rules), from consumer groups to the Catholic bishops to the NRA– because they know what a danger this new rule is. It will be frightening when we wake up one day and find that three or four huge conglomerates control the flow of information in this country."

- Congressman Bernie Sanders

go to the FCC

go to the FCC's Wireless Communications Bureau

                                                                                                                   

WATCH BILL MOYERS ADDRESS THE 2007 FREE PRESS CONFERENCE ON MEDIA REFORM ON YOU TUBE:

                                                                         

MORE ON THE FREE PRESS CONFERENCE ON MEDIA REFORM:

watch more videos from the Free Press Conference on Media Reform

return to "Reading for Living"

Remain curious.