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BTL:Grassroots Movement Working to Derail FCC Media Deregulation Plan

Interview with Josh Silver, managing director of Free Press, conducted by Between the Lines' Scott Harris
Grassroots Movement Working to Derail FCC Media Deregulation Plan

Interview with Josh Silver, managing director of Free Press, conducted by Scott Harris

A three-judge panel of the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia acted on Sept. 3 to temporarily block the Federal Communications Commission from implementing new rules which abandoned regulations that had restricted the concentration of ownership of the nation's print and broadcast media outlets. The June 2 vote by a majority of GOP-appointed FCC Commissioners, led by chair Michael Powell, allowed media corporations to reach up to 45 percent of the national TV audience, up from 35 percent, and lift the prohibition on one company from owning a newspaper and television station -- or multiple TV stations -- serving the same market.

The court decision was made in reaction to a lawsuit filed by the Prometheus Radio Project, a group which promotes the expansion of low power FM broadcasting. The judges issued the stay, which could remain in force until late November, in order to review the impact of the new FCC rules on the public interest.

The FCC's recent move to deregulate the nation's media, widely expected to increase the concentration of ownership of TV, radio and publishing companies, spawned the growth of a national grassroots movement to oppose the rules change and advocate for increased diversity on the airwaves. Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Josh Silver, managing director of the group Free Press, who looks at the significance of the FCC court ruling and the growing strength of groups working to reform the U.S. media system.

To find out more about the nation's media reform movement call Free Press toll free at 1 (866) 666-1533 or visit their website at www.mediareform.net

Related links

* "Court Blocks FCC Media Rules," by John Nichols, The Nation "The Online Beat" columnist, Sept. 4, 2003

* "FCC: Public Be Damned," by John Nichols and Robert McChesney, The Nation, May 15, 2003

* Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting, www.fair.org"

* The Media Channel, www.mediachannel.org

* Professor Robert McChesney, author of the book, "Rich Media, Poor Democracy," and co-author of "Our Media, Not Theirs," at www.robertmcchesney.com

LISTEN to this week's half-hour program of Between The Lines by clicking on one of the links below:

www.btlonline.org
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"Between The Lines" is a half-hour syndicated radio news magazine that each week features a summary of under-reported news stories and interviews with activists and journalists who offer progressive perspectives on international, national and regional political, economic and social issues. Because "Between The Lines" is independent of all publications, media networks or political parties, we are able to bring a diversity of voices to the airwaves generally ignored or marginalized by the major media. For more information on this week's topics and to check out our text archive listing topics and guests presented in previous programs visit: www.btlonline.org
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"Between the Lines," WPKN 89.5 FM's weekly radio news magazine can be heard Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. ET; Wednesdays at 8 a.m. ET and Saturdays at 2 p.m. ET (Wednesday's show airs at 7:30 a.m. ET during fundraising months of April and October).
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2003 Between The Lines. All Rights Reserved.
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