posted Apr 18, 2001

Is the FCC Quelling Free Speech?
4/18/2001; 4:37:00 PM

'Claiming Americans get their fix of diverse viewpoints on the Internet, media conglomerates are using the Web as an excuse to consolidate their power in the offline worlds of television, radio and print media.

'At least that's the argument the FCC is making in its effort to tear down decades-old laws that have prevented Big Media from growing even bigger.

'Citing technology, the Federal Communications Commission has made a sharp about-face in its position on media ownership in recent months, effectively reversing decades of legislation intended to promote diversity in the media. And so far, the Supreme Court seems to be behind it.'

Actually, if you think about it, it still doesn't make sense. Web penetration isn't anywhere near 100%. For those without web access, for whatever reason, there's still every bit as much need for independant news sources as there has ever been.

Besides, while independent critic sites like this one have their uses, and are an important part of the "Great Conversation", independent sites have limited resources. If there's only one or two big companies providing all the mainstream news, the existance of a handful of independent sites can hardly offset the major negative results of the massive consolidation the media companies want to pursue.

Perhaps the Justice Department should get involved and threaten to sue on monopolistic grounds.


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