WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 9, 2010) – A coalition of media justice and public interest organizations sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski yesterday, calling on the agency to make increased diversity in the media and broadband communications landscape a top priority.The letter stated that historically marginalized communities still face countless barriers to respective provision and ownership of communications services. It added that despite strides made by the Communications Act instructs the Commission to examine these barriers and take steps to eliminate them, much work remains to be done to address persistent and growing digital divides.
“We urge the Commission to implement better data-gathering practices regarding the ownership of media outlets by minorities and women, and to examine diversity in pending proceedings at the Commission,” the letter added. “For instance, we ask that extensive studies be conducted regarding the potential impact of the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal on the diversity of voices in ownership and programming.”
Signatories to the letter included: Afro-Netizen; Alliance for Community Media; Benton Foundation; Professor Angela Campbell of Georgetown Law; the Center for Media Justice; the Center for Rural Strategies; Free Press; Main Street Project; Media Access Project; Media Alliance; Mountain Area Information Network; the National Alliance for Media Arts & Culture; the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; the National Federation of Community Broadcasters; Public Knowledge; Reclaim the Media; Texas Media Empowerment Project; United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc.; and U.S. Public Interest Research Group.