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FCC goes ahead with media ownership changes

As expected, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has loosened media ownership regulations in the US after a 3-2 vote by its executive which, while an expected development under the Trump administration, has drawn a mixed reaction, notes Rapid TV News. “For one, the decision eliminates the ban on TV stations owning newspapers and vice versa; FCC chairman Ajit Pai has called the cross-ownership rules ‘utter nonsense’. Also, the National Association of Broadcasters said the rules were “not only irrational in today’s media environment, but they have also weakened the newspaper industry, cost journalism jobs and forced local broadcast stations onto unequal footing with our national pay-TV and radio competitors.” But US Senator Bill Nelson said that the decision “will pave the way for massive broadcast conglomerates to increasingly provide local viewers with nationalised cookie-cutter news and corporate propaganda that’s produced elsewhere”. Dissenting Democratic FCC commissioner, Mignon Clyburn weighed in, saying, “This is really about helping large media companies grow even bigger. [Republicans are] more intent on granting the industry’s holiday wish list early rather than looking out for the public interest.” The FCC also voted to greenlight the ATSC 3.0 broadcast standard and relax rules restricting media companies’ ownership of multiple TV and radio stations in the same market. Read more

  • Tuesday, 21 November 2017

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