NHMC joined UCC, OC Inc., and four other civil rights organizations in a letter opposing the Federal Communication Commission’s draft order regarding diversification of ownership in broadcasting services. The order, set to be voted on at the FCC’s meeting on April 20, 2017, would eliminate the requirement for noncommercial stations to file ownership reports with race and gender data.
This reporting requirement is a relatively simple task with exponential value to the public. Ownership data allows the Commission to determine the state of minority ownership and exposes the need for programs that promote inclusion. Incomplete and inaccurate information hinders its ability to remedy the gap. While the Commission previously applauded its own decision to require noncommercial stations to file the same diversity information as commercial counterparts, it is suddenly reconsidering debunked arguments that this reporting requirement is too burdensome. As the letter clearly states, “adopting this order would represent a step backwards from long-standing efforts of the Commission and civil rights organizations to increase diversity of broadcast station ownership.”