The Federal Communications Commission voted on June 2, 2003, to relax the rules governing media ownership. These changes, which affect everything from television to radio to newspapers, allow for a fundamental reshaping the nation’s media structure at the local and the national level. Journalism.org has put together this page as a guide to the changes and the surrounding commentary. Note: Some of the articles below are no longer available for free, but can be accessed usually for a fee or by using a database such as LexisNexis. We apologize for broken links.
The Latest News
"FCC drops bid to relax media rules"
Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, January 28, 2005
"U.S. backs off relaxing rules for big media"
Stephen Labaton, The New York Times, January 28, 2005
"Media giants suffer setback"
Ameet Sachdev, The Chicago Tribune, January 28, 2005
"Networks to appeal FCC ownership rules"
Neil Roland and Michael McKee, Bloomberg News, January 28, 2005
"FCC's Copps blows whistle: calls on industry to police consolidation"
David Kaplan, Mediapost.com, January 27, 2005
"Rep. Upton introduces anti-indecency bill in Congress"
Doug Halonen, TV Week, January 27, 2005
"NATPE unveils government censorship initiative"
Doug Halonen, TV Week, January 26, 2005
"N.C. native has inside track to be F.C.C. chair"
Tim Funk, The Charlotte Observer, January 23, 2005
"FCC rejects indecency complaints"
Associated Press, January 25, 2005
"Michael Powell calls it quits"
Neil Cavuto, Fox News, January 21, 2005
"Powell to resign as head of FCC"
Frank Ahrens, The Washington Post, January 22, 2005
"Challenges await Powell's FCC successor"
Anne Marie Squeo, The Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2005
"Powell: More technocrat than crusader"
David Hinckley, The Daily News (New York), January 24, 2005
"Powell to step down at F.C.C. after pushing for deregulation"
Stephen Labaton, The New York Times, January 22, 2005
"FCC finds itself up to its neck in hot issues"
James S. Granelli, Sallie Hofmeister, and Jon Healey, The Los Angeles Times, January 24, 2005
"Maligned FCC needs a new image"
Jon Friedman, MarketWatch.com, January 24, 2005
Cosmo Garvin, Sacramento News & Review, January 20, 2005
The FCC Relaxes Ownership Rules
Chart of the New FCC Ownership Rules
From The Poynter Institute.
Court of Appeals Ruling Halting New Media Rules
September 3, 2003
The courts ruled that new FCC rules cannot go into effect until after further investigation into their potential impact.
FCC Rules: "Report and Order Setting Limits on Media Concentration" (pdf)
July 2, 2003
The full media ownership rules that were approved in the June 2 FCC vote.
FCC Press Release: "FCC Sets Limits on Media Concentration"
June 2, 2003
Details on the new regulations, along with the reasons behind the changes.
June 2, 2003
Statements from the five FCC commissioners accompanying the vote on the rule changes (word documents).
Background information from the FCC about the current process.
FCC Web site on Media Ownership Policy Re-examination
PEJ on Ownership
PEJ Survey: New Federal Rules for Media Ownership: How Much Does the Public Know?
February 27, 2003
Most Americans have heard little about potential media ownership rule changes.
PEJ Study: Does Ownership Matter in Local Television News?
February 17, 2003
As the FCC mulls changes in ownership rules, the new PEJ study, based on five years of research in local television, looks at how ownership types affect news content and ultimately the public interest.
Formal Comments on Media Ownership from the Project for Excellence in Journalism
January 16, 2003
Presented by Amy Mitchell, Associate Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism, at the Forum on Media Ownership hosted by Columbia University.
"All News Media Inc."
Bill Kovach and Tom Rosenstiel, New York Times, January 7, 2003
Responses to FCC Research
FCC Studies on Ownership
Twelve studies commissioned by the FCC to examine the state of media economics and impact of concentration on the consumer.
Democracy Unhinged (PDF)
Critique of the the FCC ownership studies sponsored by the AFL/CIO.
December 18, 2002
"Report says format choice too limited"
David Hinckley, New York Daily News, November 19, 2002
"FCC studies seem to favor weaker rules"
Todd Shields, Editor and Publisher, October 8, 2002
"FCC's media ownership studies at ink-blot stage: Media watchdog cites lack of 'intellectual integrity'"
Alicia Mundy, CableWorld , October 8, 2002
"Critics: FCC stacks dereg deck"
Bill McConnell, Broadcasting and Cable, October 7, 2002
"Results of FCC's media studies are released"
Edmund Sanders, Los Angeles Times, October 2, 2002
Abracadabra! Hocus-pocus! Making media market power disappear with the FCC's diversity index
Report from the Consumers Union
Radio Deregulation: Has It Served Citizens and Musicians?
Report from the Future of Music Coalition
November 18, 2002
The FCC's Newspaper-Broadcast Cross-Ownership Rule: An Analysis (PDF)
Report from the Economic Policy Institute by Douglas Gomery
Offical Comments to the FCC
As part of the review process, the FCC has invited groups and individuals to solicit comments on deregulation. These comments can be viewed by through the FCC's Electronic Filing search page. In the "Proceeding" box of the form, enter "02-277."
Selected Comments (PDFs)
The following organizations filed comments on January 2, 2003.
Note: Some of the files take a few minutes to load.
American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists and the Writers Guild Of America, East
Clear Channel Communications
Communication Workers of America
Consumer Federation Of America, Consumers Union, Center For Digital Democracy, and Media Access Project
Fox, NBC, and Viacom
Information Policy Institute
National Association of Broadcasters
Newspaper Association of America
Walt Disney Company
TomPaine.com - Deregulation Resources
Media Access Project
Center for Digital Democracy
I Want Media - Media Consolidation page
Who Owns What? Columbia Journalism Review
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