A congressman on media deregulation

I used MoveOn to contact my congressman, Jay Inslee, about the pending media deregulation. He contacted me back:

Thank you for contacting me about the proposed Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations regarding further deregulation of the ownership rules for media companies.  I appreciate hearing from you.

Like you, I believe that the airwaves belong to the American people, and I share your concerns about the end result of the FCC’s most recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.  It is important to maintain the diversity of information sources so that the public interest can best be served. 

I have joined with several of my colleagues in leading the fight in Congress to prevent the FCC from allowing this rule change to go through.  Recently I sent a letter to my colleagues in Congress alerting them to the potential negative effects of the deregulation.  I also testified against the rule at the FCC hearing in Seattle held in March, and I wrote an editorial published in the Seattle Times that further expressed the dangers that further media consolidation pose to our system of free press and American democracy.  I have attached the editorial below for your review.

As you may know, in the FCC’s 2002 Biennial Review there are four major rules being considered for possible relaxation:

  1. Broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership rule: This prohibits the daily newspaper and a broadcast TV station from being owned by the same company within the same market.
  2. Local TV multiple ownership rule and the radio/TV cross-ownership rule: These rules limit somewhat the number of stations that any one entity can own in a single community.
  3. National TV ownership rule: This policy limits the number of TV stations a single company can own. The current limit prohibits a company from controlling stations that collectively reach 35 percent of all TV households.
  4. Dual Network Rule: This policy prevents one of the four major networks-ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox-from buying another network.

Please be assured I will be monitoring the FCC’s decisions closely.  I hope you will continue to contact me about the issues that concern you, as I both need and welcome your thoughts and ideas.  I encourage you to contact me via email, telephone, or fax, because security measures are causing House offices to experience delays in receiving postal mail.  My email address is: Jay.Inslee@mail.house.gov.  Please be sure to include your full name, address, including your zip code, in your message.  If you are a resident of the First Congressional District and would like to receive policy updates and newsletters via email, please email me to let me know.

Very Truly Yours,

Member of Congress

The email included the content of Inslee’s editorial in the Seattle Times, which, as the paper notes in its archives, contains a factual error but is otherwise on the money.

So what has your representative done about the FCC action?