Why Americans Still Don’t Understand Net Neutrality

Emily Smith

On Facebook, Cruz wrote that net neutrality is equivalent to Obamacare for the Internet, and that the Internet shouldn’t operate at the speed of government – probably no one is arguing with that last point, but Cruz’s argument that net neutrality is the “biggest threat to the Internet” is the perfect example of the issue’s branding, or lack thereof, and the cloud of confusion that surrounds it. For Republicans, Cruz’s argument has defined net neutrality as an antagonist of the free market – a staple of the conservative diet – instead of its true identity as a proponent.

Protest Grows Against FCC Plans for a Tiered Internet

Joseph Torres and Steven Renderos

Last month, more than 200 activists gathered outside the Federal Communications Commission to speak out against a proposal that would create a separate but unequal Internet. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler introduced rules that would allow Internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon to discriminate online by creating fast lanes for those who can pay for preferential treatment — and slow lanes for the rest of us.


Number of Black-Owned TV Stations Plummets to Zero

Joseph Torres and S. Derek Turner

We just experienced a shameful milestone in the history of U.S. media — and barely anyone noticed. There are now zero black-owned and operated full-power TV stations in our country.This sorry state of affairs is the culmination of a trend that started in the late 1990s when Congress and the Federal Communications Commission allowed massive consolidation in the broadcasting industry. 

Can Mignon Clyburn Change the FCC and the Current Media Climate?

Joseph Torres

It’s important to celebrate whenever social barriers are knocked down — including the one that fell this week when Mignon Clyburn became the acting chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. Never before has a president appointed a woman to chair the commission — not even on an interim basis. It’s not the first time Clyburn has made history. She’s also the first African-American woman to serve as an FCC commissioner. 

FCC Chairman’s Legacy: Siding With Corporate Profit, Not Public Interest

Joseph Torres

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski’s plan to allow greater media consolidation in local markets could wipe out many of the remaining TV station owners of color left in the country. According to the latest data, people of color own just over 3 percent of all full-power TV stations — just 43 of the nation’s 1,348 stations — despite making up close to 40 percent of the U.S. population. But the FCC chairman doesn’t plan to deal with this media inequality. Instead, he wants to adopt rules that will make things worse. 

FCC Finds Cost of Phone Calls from Prison Inmates Is At All-Time High

Candace Bagwell

FCC Commissioner Mignon L. Clyburn says that since then, “tens of thousands of consumers” have “written, emailed, and yes, phoned the commission, pleading for relief on interstate long distance rates from correctional facilities.” Although unfamiliar to most phone users, Global Tel*Link and Securus Technologies Inc. are the two companies responsible for the majority of prison phone calls. Steven Renderos, a national organizer for the Center for Media Justice says that the companies attribute their high rates to “the security features their technology has” including monitoring calls and blocking phone numbers.

Will the FCC Cave to Big Media?

Wade Henderson and Michael Copps

The media-dubbed “coalition of the ascendant” of women and minorities has made historic gains in our nation, yet according to the Federal Communications Commission, these communities own only a pittance of the mainstream media. Apparently not satisfied with their grip on the market, media conglomerates are lobbying the FCC to allow even more consolidation in the industry, effectively shutting the door to the development of a media that’s more reflective of our nation.

Will the FCC Side With Media Diversity or Embrace Rupert Murdoch?

Joseph Torres

Last week, the FCC released new figures that showed that ownership of TV and radio stations by women and people of color remains abysmally low. People of color own just 3.6 percent of all full-power TV stations, and women own less than 7 percent. If the changes Genachowski is seeking are approved, one company will be allowed to own the daily newspaper, two TV stations and up to eight radio stations in the same market. These changes would disproportionately impact communities of color. In fact, nearly 40 percent of TV stations owned by people of color could be impacted by the FCC’s decision since they are located in the top-20 markets, which are the ones affected by this rule change. 

Court Lifts Ban on Political Ads on Public TV and Radio Stations

Pamela A. MacLean

A federal appeals court lifted the ban on political and public- issue ads on public radio and television stations, opening the door for the paid ads to run in time for election season. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals split on the issue in a 2-1 vote Thursday, rejecting the Federal Communications Commission argument that educational programming will suffer.

Subscribe to RSS - FCC