Among the 200 people who signed up to speak at an FCC hearing on media consolidation in Seattle last week were many who are convinced the Republican-controlled panel has already decided to loosen existing media ownership rules.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, who was greeted with catcalls and boos at the meeting, wants a vote on changing ownership rules next month, reports the Seattle Times.
The FCC loosened some of those rules in 2003, enabling a company to own more than one type of media outlet in a local market. But the move was struck down by a federal appeals court.
Proponents say restrictions on media ownership aren’t an issue anymore because the Internet has given people access to more diverse media.
At the event, activists responded that media corporations were trying to restrict access to the Internet as well.
“Seattle crowd blasts FCC on big media”
Seattle Times, November 10, 2007