On Monday, April 29th, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) filed comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) opposing proposals to rollback media diversity rules. Over 30 years ago, NHMC was established to increase representation of Latinos in media. The FCC’s 2018 Quadrennial Review should be an opportunity for the agency to support that goal by creating a regulatory framework that increases media ownership opportunities for Latinos and other people of color.
The Quadrennial Review is a proceeding held every four years at the FCC to evaluate the effectiveness of current media diversity rules. The agency determines whether those regulations should be changed, weakened or eliminated. In the 2018 Quadrennial Review Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the FCC proposes a rollback of three important media ownership limitations which would allow further consolidation of the media marketplace. The Commission also proposes a “Tradable Diversity Credits” system that associates people of color and other marginalized communities with property.
The following quote can be attributed to Daiquiri Ryan, NHMC policy counsel:
“It’s no secret that the Federal Communications Commission has a dark history of discrimination against people of color in the media. We have been systematically shut out of media ownership for decades, and now that the Commission has the opportunity to do something about it, it is proposing further deregulation and a misguided diversity proposal. Less than 3 percent of TV stations and only 5 percent of radio stations are owned by people of color. Yet and still, the Commission suggests that media ownership is ‘diverse enough.’
“The Commission also suggests that the growth of online programming serves as a sufficient substitute for local broadcasting. That is simply not true for the millions of Americans on the wrong side of the digital divide–including over a third of Latino families. The Commission needs to do more to ensure that our communities are represented in the media marketplace, not less.”
NHMC’s comments were joined by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC, the Institute for Intellectual Property and Social Justice, Public Knowledge, United Church of Christ, Office of Communication, Inc., and WashingTECH. The full comments of NHMC and allies can be found here.