Court Overturns Media Ownership Rules: A Victory!
for June 24, 2004
With the help of all
of you who care deeply about diverse and dynamic media in America, we have
landed a decisive blow in beating back the Federal
Communications Commission (FCC).
A federal court on
the FCC to redo many of the controversial media ownership rules it passed last
June. In addition, the court strongly
criticized the agency's methods for
arriving at its conclusions in justifying increased media concentration.
Under the ruling, the FCC will have to revisit the legal framework it
operated under, and begin its deliberations anew.
We will work to
encourage the FCC to conduct a more public and inclusive process than it did
last June as it considers any new rule changes.
Last year, the FCC held only one official public hearing in Richmond,
Virginia and did not make public the proposed rule changes until shortly before
it voted on them. The public had
very little time to review the rules and provide input.
The court's decision
offers a stinging rebuke to the FCC's disregard for public participation in the
rulemaking process, and underscores the importance of true media diversity.
It also gives us another chance to work
for real reform and to oppose media concentration as the FCC reconsiders its
ruling under the courtís new direction.
Earlier this week, in another victory for media reform, Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) won approval for an amendment to a defense authorization bill that would completely repeal the June 2nd rules. Common Cause and other reform groups will be working to make sure that the amendment is not stripped out of the defense department authorization bill when the House and Senate meet in conference to resolve the difference on their respective defense bills.