Communities of Color Need FCC to Eliminate Onerous Barriers for Diverse Content Producers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today announced in a blog post that it was circulating a Notice of Inquiry designed to examine barriers to participation and innovation for video programming producers, particularly independent and diverse programmers seek distribution on cable systems and through online outlets. The FCC is widely expected to decide whether or not to proceed with the video programming notice of inquiry, and the proposed rulemaking for cable box reform announced yesterday, at its full commission open meeting on February 18th. Read Chairman Wheeler's blog post here. Said Alex Nogales, President & CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition: "I hear almost daily of the struggles of Latinos and other people of color trying to make a living producing high-quality content for communities that are not often adequately served. Challenges of varying degrees confront everyone from the most established and popular broadcasters and cable networks all the way down to independent writers, producers, and actors trying to bypass gatekeepers and catch a break online. "The business of providing diverse, culturally relevant content to our communities is at once critically important and incredibly difficult. And, unfortunately, until now we have only seen progress in fits and starts. An FCC examination of how to ensure a fair playing field for diverse content producers and provide more variety and choice for Latino consumers and others is a welcome opportunity to highlight the work that needs to be done to achieve greater diversity and better representation in our media." FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn called on FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to initiate such a proceeding early last year. The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) supports the circulation of this item and hopes that it, along with the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) regarding cable box competition and openness announced yesterday, will be adopted by the Commission and, ultimately, lead to a greater ability for consumers to access the programming of their choice and for diverse content producers to find a greater audience. In his post announcing this notice, Chairman Wheeler stated, "The goal is this inquiry is to assess how the Commission could foster greater consumer choice and enhance diversity by eliminating or reducing any barriers experienced by programmers, especially small programmers and new entrants, in reaching consumers." For interviews, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.716.1953 or at


National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) is a woman-led 501(c)(3) non-profit civil and human rights organization that was founded to eliminate hate, discrimination, and racism toward the Latino communities.
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