FCC Targets Media-Ownership Rules Yet Again

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Kevin Martin, the head of the FCC, has announced that he wants to decide on new media ownership rules by the end of the year. In particular, he’s considering lifting a longtime ban on cross-ownership—that is, letting a single company own print and broadcast media outlets in the same market. As Eric Klinenberg explained in Mother Jones earlier this year, repealing the ban would be bad news for the news, especially the embattled newspapers and TV stations that—love ’em or hate ’em—remain Americans’ main sources of local news.

This isn’t the first time the FCC has taken a swing at the cross-ownership ban: Former commission head Michael Powell managed to strike it down in 2003. (A federal court blocked the move.) That time, the FCC rushed the decision through with minimal public input; this time, Martin says he’ll take the “unusual step” of letting the public comment on the proposed rule changes… for one whole month.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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