FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Sept. 2, 2003
NEW FCC MEDIA OWNERSHIP RULES GO INTO EFFECT ON SEPT. 4
FREE SPEECH ACTIVISTS TAKE TO THE STREETS IN HALF DOZEN CITIES, RESPOND TO MEDIA COMPANIES PRO-CONSOLIDATION ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
VISUALS: CodePink "Angel of Public Interest" (that FCC chairman Powell said he could not find), Lady Justice Blindfolded shouting "There's a Fox in Our Henhouse."
WHEN: 5 PM- Thursday, September 4, 2003
WHERE Fox News Channel at Pico and Motor -LA
WHAT: On Thursday, September 4 ‐ the day that controversial new FCC media ownership rules go into effect ‐ free speech advocates and media consumers will protest at media outlets in half a dozen cities, including Los Angeles. They hope to encourage Congress, which is considering legislation to overturn the FCC decision, and counter the new pro-consolidation advertising campaign that was launched this week by CBS, NBC and Fox television.
The media companies new slogan is "America says don't get between me and my TV. Well, we say, Don't let the media companies hijack our democracy," said Jodie Evans, protest organizer and co-founder of CodePink. "FCC Chairman Michael Powell is ignoring the protest of more than half a million people and hundreds of organizations, when they voted to allow the media behemoths that already dominate our airwaves-the likes of General Electric, Rupert Murdoch and Fox News, AOL-Time Warner, and Viacom-to gobble up even more TV stations and local newspapers."
Despite an outpouring of opposition from across the political spectrum, including half a million people who filed public comments with the FCC, the Commission's Republican majority voted on June 2 to radically deregulate the media and allow huge media corporations to own even more television stations
and local newspapers, endangering media diversity.
Protests against the new media ownership rules are planned in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, and Washington, DC. The Los Angeles protest will be held outside Fox News Channel at Pico and Motor.
If the new FCC media rules are not reversed, many people believe we will see more deals like the expected NBC purchase of media giant Vivendi Universal Entertainment (reported by AP on Sept. 2). The result of further media consolidation will likely be "more sensationalism, commercialism, crassness, violence, homogenization ‐ and noticeably less serious coverage of news and local events," testified dissenting FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein.
The national day of protest against the new FCC rules and the media monopoly is being organized by the Charlotte Fellowship of Reconciliation, CodePink: Women for Peace, Democracy Rising, Free Press, Global Exchange, Media Alliance, Prometheus Radio Project, Reclaim the Media, United for Peace and Justice, and others.