Monday, July 07, 2003

If we can stand one more post about the FCC ruling . . .

The official version of the new media ownership rules from the 6/2 FCC deregulation are now available online at the FCC website. (word file). I haven't had time to do much more than glance at them yet-- but the justifications used for this ruling are a bit nauseating. I particularly enjoyed the sections that basically said: "We received half a million comments opposed to this decision. Here's why we just don't care . . . " This also caught my eye:

A generation ago, only science fiction writers dreamed of satellite-delivered television, cable was little more than a means of delivering broadcast signals to remote locations, and the seeds of the Internet were just being planted in a Department of Defense project. Today, hundreds of channels of video programming are available in every market in the country and, via the Internet, Americans can access virtually any information, anywhere, on any topic.

I hate to see two things I love-- science fiction and the Internet-- being used to justify this sort of action. The Internet has enabled many amazing things. It does not, however, mean that we have no need to worry about the access to broadcasting. And if we're going to be drawing some sort of parallels between the current mediascape and sf predictions, I think it's more from the dystopic tradition that we should be drawing.

On a related note, Bob McChesney's group at is encouraging everyone to call thier congresspeople to repeal this FCC ruling. Click here to find out if your representatives have gotten on board yet. In CA, Boxer is a cosponsor, Feinstein is not (nor is my House Rep, Lois Capps).


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