The King County Labor Council (King county, Washington state) passed a resolution on Thursday, Feb. 20, pertaining to media diversity. Some excerpts:
Freedom of the press and public access to diverse media are prerequisites for a functioning democracy;
The broadcast airwaves and the Internet are owned commonly by the public, and should be managed to serve the public interest;
The public interest is best served by the availability of a broadly diverse range of viewpoints;
Media diversity is seriously threatened by further consolidation of media ownership in an already highly concentrated market;
The Federal Communications Commission is currently considering an unprecedented rollback of media ownership regulations which protect competition, content diversity and local accountability in our media;
The elimination or weakening of these regulations would be highly likely to expand the negative effects of radio industry consolidation to date. Ownership deregulation will reduce competition, local accountability, diversity of content and voices, and amount/quality of news coverage in broadcast and print media across the country, while providing windfall profits for a small handful of corporate media owners;
We recognize that as citizens in a democracy, we require public access to a diverse range of media voices and messages, in order to participate fully in our community's shared social, cultural and political life.
We urge the Federal Communications Commission and the Congress to protect content diversity and press freedom by retaining and strengthening existing media ownership regulations.
We further call upon the Congress to exercise its oversight in the area of federal communications policy through public hearings on media ownership issues; and to pursue legislation aimed at protecting our democratic media by prohibiting further media consolidation.
Adopted by the King County Labor Council, 19 February, 2003
This is an inspiring development. In recent months, we saw as one sign of the burgeoning antiwar movement the passage of antiwar resolutions by city councils, and even state legislatures. (Many similar resolutions have been passed in opposition of the dreadful USA PATRIOT Act.) I'm hoping that the introduction and passage of similar resolutions throughout the country on maintaining media diversity can serve as a similar signal of a growing media democracy movement.
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