The Federal Communication Commission Set to Change Ownership Rules

Plans are underway to remove laws that cover diversity in media voices as well as those that cover local coverage. This information was released by the Federal Communications Commission yesterday. When the process is complete, a number of ownership rules that span for decades will be eliminated. During the announcement which was made by the commission chairman Ajit Pai, he mentioned that they would vote for the removal of the ownership laws at an upcoming congressional hearing. According to the chairman, he said the rule that they are most concerned about is the one that prevents the ownership of a broadcasting station and a newspaper in the same market. According to media experts, these laws were created decades ago with the main aim of ensuring that a single individual does not shape the public opinion of the people living in the same area. The chairman has, however, faced a lot of criticism from a number of Democrats about the issue. However, he has not shied away from defending himself and the commission by saying that the current rules are outdated and old-fashioned. He further says that these rules were created 42 years ago when the news industry was dominated by televisions and newspapers. He further said that the current landscape is dominated by strong tech companies such as Google and Facebook.

The FCC announced last spring that they were contemplating about doing away with the ownership laws. This sparked the Sinclair Broadcast Group to announce that they were considering an acquisition of Tribune Media. The deal would be worth $3.9 billion. However, the acquisition is currently under the review of the Justice Department and the FCC. Should the deal go through, the Sinclair Group will be able to have a 70 percent share of the American TV audience. This comes at a time when Senate Republicans decided to do away with a regulation that requires TV Stations to have a main studio at each locality. This announcement was announced by the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on Wednesday. This was good news for broadcast station and newspapers that have argued that they are subjected to an unfair completion with companies such as Facebook and Youtube. According to News Media Alliance chairman David Chavern, he said that this is an achievement for the media houses which have to compete in the economies of scale. These companies are supposed to hire news reporters who are supposed to keep their viewers and audience update.

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Dil Bole Oberoi