The American Cable Association, Free Press, and Time Warner in a letter dated 14 November 2011 gave the Federal Communications Commission an earful about certain practices by local broadcasters intended, allegedly, to skirt the FCC’s ownership rules.
Yes, you heard me. ACA, Free Press, and Time Warner. Talk about the joining of heaven (business and free market warriors) and hell (anti-market whining Free Press) getting together to wage war against broadcasters. Reminds me of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Anyway, the triumvirate, along with some other side kicks, wanted to make the FCC aware that local broadcasters are entering into shared services and other contractual relationships to share resources, including newsrooms and staff. These actions, according to the triumvirate, have a negative impact on localism, broadcast station competition, and journalistic independence.
As a layman, I never say journalism and broadcast in the same conversation. Newspapers have journalists. Broadcasters have overpaid news readers that get their news from local and national newspapers and wire services.
Yes. Maybe I’m biased, but if the triumvirate and the FCC want to craft policy that addresses localism and journalistic independence, they also have to take into account the current business environment. Newsrooms, whether print or broadcast, are taking a beating.
You see, there is this thing called the Internet. People are adopting broadband so that they can gain quick access to multiple sources of news, local, regional, and national. Broadcast stations are responding to this, especially as online publications go multimedia. Ever read The Wall Street Journal? Their video content is first rate.
Anyway, I hope the FCC takes this into account while listening to the anti-business judgment hen pecking of Free Press and company.