Why diversity and competition in news reporting matters:

PANEL DISCUSSION AND PRESS BRIEFING
National Press Club
Holeman Lounge, 13th floor
529 14th Street NW, Washington DC
March 15, 2002, 9:00 am

The case for retention of the FCC newspaper/broadcast ownership rule

Participants:

FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps will present opening remarks. He will be followed by a panel of experts in media and news reporting offering a variety of perspectives in support of retaining this public interest standard in an era of increasing media concentration and mergers. Panel participants will include:

  • Professor Douglas Gomery of the University of Maryland School of Journalism and published author of various works on media concentration will release his recent paper—commissioned by the Economic Policy Institute—entitled ‘The FCC’s Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule: An Analysis.”
  • Mark Cooper, Research Director, Consumer Federation of America will speak to the current state of media concentration and how repeal of the cross-ownership ban will worsen market conditions.
  • Belva Davis, the first African-American female broadcaster on the west coast and widely respected, six-time local Emmy award winner media personality, will comment on her personal experiences at a San Francisco cross-owned (Chronicle) television station.
  • Stephen Kimber, Professor of Journalism and Director of the Kings College School of Journalism (Halifax, Nova Scotia) who recently resigned his columnist position with the Halifax Daily News in protest over the censorship actions of CanWest, Canada’s largest media conglomerate.
  • Wade Henderson, Executive Director of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, will address the concerns of the nation’s minority communities as it relates to localism in news coverage and diversity in news broadcasting.
  • Edward Fouhy, five time national Emmy winning, former CBS news director, CBS and ABC Vice president and Washington Bureau Chief, founding member of the Pew Center on Civic Journalism and currently Executive Director with the Pew Center on the States will also offer his views.

Statement:

America’s working families, as citizens and consumers, depend upon diverse media sources to provide a variety of meaningful news and information. This diversity is essential to their informed participation in our democratic society. The co-sponsoring organizations believe that, in an environment increasingly dominated by a handful of large multi-media corporations, the elimination of the cross-ownership ban will exacerbate market concentration in both large and small communities and thereby diminish the numbers and diversity of alternative voices and adversely affect the quality of localism in news reporting.

Sponsors:

  • AFL-CIO
  • American Federation of Television and Radio Artists
  • Center for Digital Democracy
  • Communications Workers of America
  • Consumers’ Union
  • Consumer Federation of America
  • Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO
  • Economic Policy Institute
  • Institute for Public Representation, Georgetown University Law Center
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Broadcast Division
  • Leadership Conference on Civil Rights
  • Media Access Project
  • National Consumers League
  • National Writers’ Union, UAW
  • National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians, CWA
  • The Newspaper Guild, CWA
  • Writers Guild of America, East

For further information, contact:

Mike Gildea, Executive Director, Dept. for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO 202-638-0320, ext 22
Cheryl Leanza, Deputy Director, Media Access Project 202-454-5683