RELEASE: NHMC AND COMMON CAUSE URGE THE FCC TO CONSIDER MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES IN COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE REPORT 

Contact: Araceli Velasco avelasco@nhmc.org (213)718-0732

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

May 29, 2020 

NHMC AND COMMON CAUSE URGE THE FCC TO CONSIDER MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES IN COMMUNICATIONS MARKETPLACE REPORT  WASHINGTON, D.C.  On May 28, 2020, the National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) and Common Cause filed joint reply comments at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding its Communication Marketplace Report open proceeding. Common Cause and NHMC emphasized the Commission’s role in promoting universal service and adequate competition in the communications marketplace, especially during a pandemic.  Among the issues addressed by the two organizations, ensuring that free, local broadcast programming is available to people across the country was a central and important theme. In addition, NHMC and Common Cause emphasized the role of the digital divide in accessibility of online content, the dangers of conflating mobile and fixed broadband as substitutes, and the need for Congressional support for  local broadcasters and other local outlets affected by COVID-19 in lieu of further ownership consolidation and media deregulation.  The following can be attributed to Brenda V. Castillo, President and CEO, NHMC:  “Diversity in media programming and ownership is central to NHMC’s mission. After advocating in this space for more than 30 years, it is beyond disappointing to see broadcast ownership by people of color at abysmal levels while the FCC moves to allow further consolidation. The Latinx community and other marginalized groups still rely on free, local programming — especially in times of a public health emergency. NHMC is proud to stand with Common Cause in urging the Commission to consider the needs of our communities.” The following can be attributed to Yosef Getachew, Media and Democracy Program Director, Common Cause:  “The FCC’s Communications Marketplace Report must reflect the realities of how communities access communications services today, which have become more important than ever during the COVID-19 pandemic. For broadband services, consumers currently have few options for both fixed and mobile services. A competitive broadband marketplace is critical to closing the digital divide, particularly for low-income and marginalized communities where affordability continues to remain a barrier to adoption. In the video marketplace, broadcast services play a unique role as essential tools for communities to receive news and information. Allowing more broadcast consolidation and deregulation is not the answer for a diverse and democratic media ecosystem. The FCC must examine the state of competition in our communications marketplace through the lens of promoting universal broadband service and diversity in our media.”  For more information about NHMC’s policy work, follow NHMC on Twitter @NHMC.

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