FMC Statement at FCC Workshop on Media Ownership Proceeding
Kristin Thomson a panelist at FCC Public Interest Panel
On November 3, 2009, FMC Education Director Kristin Thomson participated in a public interest panel on media ownership organized by the FCC’s Media Bureau in advance of their 2010 media ownership rulemaking proceedings.
The purpose of the convening was to assist the FCC in developing an analytical framework as it begins its quadrennial media ownership review, Congressionally mandated by the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Every four years, the Commission undertakes rulemaking proceedings to “determine whether any of such rules are necessary in the public interest as the result of competition,” according to the FCC. To aid the agency in achieving its stated goals of localism, competition and diversity in media, FMC delivered a statement about the importance of robust data collection and analysis in service of these objectives.
Debates and decision-making in the media policy arena increasingly rely on quantitative data analyses. And because of this, issues of access to data – and data quality – are central to the process. As the Commission enters this next rulemaking, FMC argued that it’s essential that the agency be equally committed to collecting more and better data from its licensees, and storing it in a database that is more accessible, searchable, and easy to download.
The Media Workshop also included Ken Ferree (Senior Fellow, The Progress and Freedom Foundation), Cheryl Leanza (Policy Director, The Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ), Andy Schwartzman (President and CEO, Media Access Project, on behalf of Prometheus Radio Project) and S. Derek Turner (Research Director, Free Press).