Jesse Jackson, FCC, diversity, the same old tune

The Hill reported in its blog a couple days ago that Rev. Jesse Jackson is taking issue (again) with the Federal Communications Commission’s lackluster performance on diversity issues. Personally, I think complaining about and to the FCC is a waste of time.

First, the place is crawling with dispassionate liberals. Just because they are crawling with Democrats doesn’t mean they are automatically the first to go singing “We shall overcome.”

Second, why are we focusing on diversity at the FCC? I could care less if 80% of their staff was black. The real focus, the real approach to the analysis should be market driven. In short, our mindset is so focused on dominating the consumer side of the market that we are paying no attention to being on the producer side of media.

Rev. Jackson may find it a bit more cost effective to persuade minority college students to pursue media studies and software engineering so that we can get in front of the changes in media while learning how to write and market new apps for cell phones, lap tops, and iPads. Then after you persuade students to enter this field, match them up with the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council for mentoring and guidance on how to access capital to start their own businesses.

Expecting wonders from the FCC, an agency who shows no respect for the overall freedom of the markets, is a waste of time. The only things close to media diversity you’ll get from the FCC is some canned speech on what little they are doing for minorities and a couple quotes in Jet magazine

The FCC can’t shirk its equal employment opportunity duties

Posted October 28th, 2010 in African Americans, EEO, FCC, Government Regulation, Hispanics and tagged , , by Alton Drew

Thanks to Jeneba Ghatt at Jeneba Speaks for keeping the topic of minority representation at the forefront.

I always expect both sides of the political spectrum to give but mere lip service to the issue of minority representation in media. That this Democratic-controlled FCC would be no different is not surprising.

They have given themselves two convenient excuses; the national broadband plan and net neutrality. Unfortunately for the FCC, both initiatives currently shed no fruit. Maybe the FCC should have erred on the side of doing what is currently mandated by rule, overseeing the status of minorities in media, versus wasting time on net neutrality.

FCC should either enforce EEO rules or stop giving lip service

Posted July 15th, 2010 in EEO, FCC, Government Regulation and tagged , , by Alton Drew

Jeneba Ghatt, an attorney and blogger at, makes some great points regarding the FCC’s lack of enforcement of its EEO policies. Just like the mice in the Aesop fable cited by Ms. Ghatt, the FCC may be talking a good game but are too afraid to be bitten by the consequences of ensuring a fair and level playing field in communications industry employment.

It is one thing for a regulatory agency to demand certain requirements in exchange for a broadcaster’s right to use the public airwaves. It is another matter to enforce the requirements.

Equal opportunity employment may not be a sexy issue for the FCC, but if they care about their credibility with the minority community, it is time for them to take it seriously.