Office of Communications, Inc.

UCC Media Justice Update

Civil Rights Organizations Ask FCC to Keep Promise

April 9, 2013

UCC's media justice ministry, OC Inc.,  joined with her fellow civil rights organizations in asking outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chair Julius Genachowski to take long-promised action before he leaves his post.   The letter urged Genachowski to issue its media ownership research plan for comment before he leaves, and to adopt a timetable that will produce proposals for FCC consideration by 2015.  The letter stated, "Without the data produced by the Section 257 studies, it is impossible to make media and telecommunications policy decisions that address the needs of the constituencies we represent, including the vast disparity in media ownership by women and people of color."  Section 257 of the Communications Act requires the FCC to analyze barriers for small businesses and others seeking to enter media and telecommunications markets.

 

Cheryl Leanza, UCC OC Inc.'s policy advisor said, "given the dire state of media diversity today, we need a clear plan that we will have time to consider and adopt proposals before the end of the Obama Administration.  These comprehensive  studies are not only essential to keep promises made to the civil rights community, but also the federal courts which have mandated the FCC collect and use this type of data to make its decisions."

 

The letter was precipitated because time is rapidly expiring for the FCC to keep its promise to begin its next Congressionally-mandated review of media rules in 2014 with new, comprehensive data.  The FCC has long pointed to a lack of data for its failure to analyze the impact of media concentration on underserved communities.

 

The letter was sent by The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, and was signed by the following organizations in addition to UCC OC Inc.:  American Civil Liberties Union , Asian American Justice Center, Common Cause, Communications Workers of America, National Urban League, NAACP, National Council of La Raza, National Consumer Law Center, National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the National Organization for Women Foundation.

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