For immediate release
July 23, 2003
Chris Murray or Gene Kimmelman
Roadblock to revamping FCC rules is obliterated
Today the House of Representatives voted 400-21 for an appropriations bill that includes language restoring limits on the number of broadcast television stations that media giants may own. This overwhelming vote demonstrates strong bipartisan support to establish media ownership limits that promote local control, diversity and competition. Efforts to protect media giants by creating roadblocks to legislation clearly backfired in the House of Representatives. But what the House did today is only a first step.
The Senate has made substantial progress in rolling back the FCC’s rules that had opened the door to massive consolidation among local newspapers and television stations. Passage of the House bill today will enable the Senate and the House to make the FCC revisit all of its ownership rules. Millions of Americans care about losing more local control of the media, and their voices are being heard and will continue to be heard on Capitol Hill. We believe that policymakers are starting to listen to the voices of the people, and that media ownership limits will eventually be restored to promote localism, diversity, and competition.
Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, is an independent nonprofit testing, educational and information organization serving only the consumer. We are a comprehensive source of unbiased advice about products and services, personal finance, health, nutrition, and other consumer concerns. Since 1936, our mission has been to test products, inform the public, and protect consumers.