So long, infodiversity

On June 2, the FCC will likely drop regulations that prevent media monopolies in local markets. Currently six corporations own a majority of TV networks and broadcast stations; such deregulation will give the Vivendis and Viacoms of the world even more of a stranglehold on the kind of news and programming you can access. Goodbye, infodiversity. Given the mainstream media blackout on this issue, I want to revisit a piece I wrote for Adbusters awhile back, on what motivates FCC chair Michael Powell's zeal for deregulation:
"Regulation is the oppressor here," explained Michael Powell, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, at a conservative forum last year.

By his thinking, free markets should rule the $950 billion communication industry, and the government - his boss - is keeping the little guy down. The "oppressed" happens to be underdogs like AOL Time Warner, Vivendi, and Viacom, who must struggle to make ends meet under restrictions intended to prevent media monopolies. But when asked recently what the words "public interest" mean in the FCC's mission, Powell replied, "I have no idea… I try to make the best judgement I can in ways that benefit consumers. Beyond that I don't know."
Read more.

Bill Moyers has been the most prominent voice on the topic of information diversity and media ownership. Visit the site for NOW with Bill Moyers to read an interview with FCC chair Michael Powell and learn more about how the FCC is giving the public airwaves to corporations.

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