Know Your Media Rules

(Originally published at

Last month the Federal Communications Commission officially kicked off its 2010 review of the nation’s five media ownership rules, which exist to protect citizens from media consolidation, and ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest. These rules have been at the center of a long fight, pitting people around the country against big broadcasters and their hired hands.

In 2002 and 2006, the FCC tried to eliminate many of the media ownership laws , sparking widespread public outcry. Millions of people contacted Congress, attended FCC field hearings and wrote letters opposing the continued trend toward media consolidation. In fact as they embark on this latest review, the rule changes the FCC tried to push through in 2002 and 2006 are still being battled out in the courts. It may seem strange to be considering new rules while the old rules are still up in the air, but that’s the way it goes in Washington.

It is crucial that local citizens are a part of the review process, and to play an effective role, they must understand how these rules impact the news and information we receive in our neighborhoods and communities. Continue reading