Los Angeles Times

Yes, A Free Press Really Matters -- Especially in Times of Crisis

Forrest Hartman

There will be time for an outbreak postmortem once the U.S. gets past the threat of the coronavirus  --  and the nation will move past it, just as it has countless challenges in the past. The question now is how many Americans will suffer and how many will die unnecessarily. Our goal should be to protect as many fellow citizens as possible, regardless of political affiliation, race, age, gender, etc. Viruses neither care about nor recognize these traits, nor should we when addressing a crisis. Unfortunately, our efforts to safeguard the populace have been seriously undermined by the current social and political climate, rife with division and prejudice, and this climate has been not only fostered, but furthered, by the current administration.

California Prisoners’ Hunger Strike Enters Its Third Week

Sal Rodriguez

California prisoners in over a dozen prisons are entering their third week on hunger strike, which began on July 8th with 30,000 prisoners across the state participating. This is the third hunger strike since June 2011 that California prisoners in the Security Housing Units (SHU) have participated in, demanding the same five core demands, with an emphasis on ending California's practice of long-term segregation of inmates suspected of prison gang affiliation. 

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. 

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