June 13, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: SUPREME COURT REJECTS FCC APPEAL in PROMETHEUS vs. FCC
Contact: Pete Tridish, 215.727.9620, 215.605.9297, firstname.lastname@example.org or
Hannah Sassaman, 215.727.9620, 267.970.4007, email@example.com
(print this release at http://www.prometheusradio.org/lawsuit_supreme_victory_june_13th.doc --
and apologies for crossposts.)
The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it is denying the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) request for an appeal on a case dealing with the further deregulation of the American media system. This decision upholds an earlier ruling by the Third District Court of Appeals that dismissed the FCC's revised ownership rules as irrational and against the public interest.
Prometheus and the many diverse supporters of media reform hail this decision as one more victory in their ongoing struggle to diversify and democratize the newspaper, radio, and television industries. "By refusing to hear the FCC's appeal, the Supreme Court is affirming the demands of millions of people in the United States: the FCC needs to take a close look at its rules about media ownership and the assumptions guiding these rules," says Pete Tridish of the Prometheus Radio Project, the lead petitioner in the case against the agency. "The FCC chose a course that would add a few percentage points to the profit margins of a handful of corporations, while exposing Americans to a throttled public debate. Under the FCC's rules, just a handful of corporate executives could easily stifle unpopular opinions. We need to look no further than today's Italy, where a media mogul has become Prime Minister, to understand the problems that these new rules could have created for American democracy."
If passed, the FCC's rules would have increased the number of households a single television corporation could reach with its broadcasts, and the number of media outlets a corporation could own in a single city.
"We aren't treating the Supreme Court's decision as an end in and of itself," says Prometheus Organizer Hannah Sassaman, "but it does add fuel to our burning desire to make more room for local voices in our corporate-dominated media landscape. We will continue our work helping organizations across the U.S. start up Low Power FM (LPFM) radio stations, an essential part of the movement to bring media control to the hands of communities. We call upon allies across the country to support Congressional legislation that would ease restrictions on LPFM radio, and open up the airwaves for more community radio stations."
The Prometheus Radio Project looks forward to positive engagement with the FCC as they try again to craft media ownership rules that can serve all people in the United States.
To learn more about the Prometheus Radio Project and the thousands of communities fighting for a voice on the public airwaves, visit http://www.prometheusradio.org.
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