FCC Targets Media-Ownership Rules Yet Again

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.


In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones: A special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of the huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.