The Parents Television Council has joined the Coalition to Save Local Media in opposing media consolidation.
The Parents Television Council is adding its voice to a very important choir – a choir that is chiming for stronger, not weaker, community standards. We’ve allied with the bipartisan Coalition to Save Local Media, in order to bring greater national attention to the issue of media ownership.
The FCC’s stated goal is to allow more local media outlets to be owned and controlled by distant corporations. The most recent example is Sinclair television station group’s merger with Tribune now in the works. But this issue is not just about Sinclair’s proposed acquisition of Tribune Media. This issue is about the loss of local, public accountability for the use of the publicly-owned airwaves. For fifteen years, the PTC has correlated an increase in graphic, explicit, violent and profane television content with an increase in the consolidation of media ownership. Even worse, we have documented an increase in harmful, explicit content being rated by conglomerate-owned distributors as appropriate for children to watch. When local broadcasters are owned by corporate behemoths that are based hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away, the inevitable result is that local, community standards aren’t just ignored — they’re obliterated.
Allowing rampant media consolidation is likely to result in bipartisan disaster over the long term. If the FCC delivers on its promise to weaken existing media ownership restrictions, children and families will become collateral damage as media behemoths with no concern for the public gain a stranglehold on the public’s own airwaves.
“A decade-and-a-half ago, the PTC’s founder, Brent Bozell, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a remarkably diverse group of public policy advocates to oppose the loosening of media ownership rules. Surrounded by what may be the strangest of bedfellows in the history of public policy in Washington — the National Organization for Women and Concerned Women for America; the Salvation Army and Common Cause; the National Rifle Association and MoveOn.org – Brent offered the following observation: ‘When all these groups are united on the same issue, then one of two things has happened: either the earth has spun off its axis and we have all lost our minds, or there is universal support for a concept.’ That concept was of vital importance then, and it is of even greater importance today. In furtherance of that goal, we will be calling on our members to encourage our elected and appointed government officials to serve the public interest ahead of the corporate interest,” said PTC President Tim Winter.