FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 17, 2003
Contact: Mitchell Szczepanczyk, President, Chicago Media Action
James Owens, CMA Board Member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Daytime phone: 1-773-753-0818, During the protest: 1-773-474-3837
MEDIA DEMOCRACY ACTIVISTS PROTEST FCC CHAIR MICHAEL POWELL'S PRO-CORPORATE ANTI-PUBLIC PLANS FOR MASS MEDIA
Thursday, December 18, 6:45pm - 8pm, outside the Sheraton Hotel, 301 E. North Water St., Chicago.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chair Michael Powell's Chicago visit will be met with protest from local media Democracy activists from the organization Chicago Media Action. The protest will take place at 301 E. North Water St., just outside the lavish Sheraton Hotel. In an event that is closed to the public, Powell will address the business oriented Economic Club of Chicago. Protestors will outside voice their opposition to FCC policies championed by Powell that will increase consolidation of media ownership, increase commercialism of the media and reduce diversity of local and community voices in the media.
"Today Michael Powell again demonstrates his model for policy development: he consults with corporate and business interests while the public is left out on the street," said CMA President Mitchell Szczepanczyk.
CMA also condemns the corporate-connected corruption rampant within Powell's FCC, where commissioners have received over $2.8 million in travel perks from the leaders of the industry they were designed to regulate. Further, Powell himself is on the board of Telecommunications Development Fund--a venture capital fund also in the same industry he is supposed to regulate.
"Clearly the industry has captured the commission that is supposed to regulate them," said CMA member James Owens. "77% percent of the public disagree with FCC policies that let big media get bigger, but Powell^Òs FCC enacted these policies anyway. Powell is a public servant who does not value public interest."
In keeping with the season, protestors will also sing adapted holiday carols such as "God Bless Ye Bold Commissioners," and "Dreaming of a Media Wonderland."
Chicago Media Action is an activist group dedicated to analyzing and broadening Chicago's mainstream media and to building Chicago's independent media. CMA, founded in November 2002, has been active in the FCC deregulation fight of 2003--protesting against Michael Powell in June 2003, and helping organize the Midwest Forum on Media Ownership. Website: www.chicagomediaaction.org
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