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FCC Ignores Public, Relaxes Media Ownership

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the big-is-not-bad-honest-except-for-cable dept.

Media 244

anthrax writes "Ignoring Congressional and public comments, the FCC voted to relax ownership rules that have prevented broadcasters from owning newspapers in the nation's 20 largest media markets. After holding several public hearings that overwhelmingly opposed the relaxation of the rules, and Congressional hearing where Democrats and Republicans (even Ted 'Tubes' Stevens) voiced opposition to the move, the FCC voted 3 to 2 to relax ownership. On the same day the FCC voted 3 to 2 (by a different split) to cap the size of any cable company at 30% of the nationwide market, a limit Comcast is up against."

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People needed (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745268)

Hi there. I have it on good authority that this article is a hoax [myminicity.com]

Re:People needed (4, Insightful)

kcornia (152859) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745398)

I have karma to burn so feel free to send this to offtopic land, but can we just get a sitewide ban on these lame spam links please? 3 or 4 in this thread alone!

Re:People needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745504)

What is the big deal with that site anyway? What do they get out of publicizing their 'city'?

Re:People needed (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745618)

I can all be explained with a simple query into the matter [tinyurl.com]

Re:People needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746134)

One gets an additional person added to the population of their town for each person that visits the town's page (one per day per person).

Re:People needed (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745900)

what about tinyurl and proxied links to spam sites? maybe a link report system or a seperate modifier like -1 spam or something like that w/ a few metamods to confirm/deny the mod so rogue mods can't ditch legit links

Re:People needed (1)

LordEd (840443) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746502)

Are you volunteering to be the meta moderator that verifies all of the links that redirect to goat.cx?

Re:People needed (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746570)

good point. now what?

That's it.Goodbye America (0)

N Nomad (1198231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745278)

It was fun while it lasted.

Re:That's it.Goodbye America (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745308)

Good Bye America [myminicity.com]

Welcome To (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745294)


my gulag [whitehouse.org] .

Criminally Forever,
George W. Bush, Inc.

No surprise there (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745306)

Absolutely none whatsoever

Re:No surprise there (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745338)

You would be suprised to read the other side to this article [myminicity.com]

This is an outrage (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745312)

The brazen disregard show by those 3 commissioners is absolutely shameful. How dare they defy the will of Comcast?

isn't democracy great? (4, Insightful)

j0nb0y (107699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745318)

Unelected FCC commissioners making decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of communications in this country... I'm sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.

Re:isn't democracy great? (5, Insightful)

boguslinks (1117203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745386)

Unelected FCC commissioners making decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of communications in this country... I'm sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.

Considering that the newspaper as we know it is circling the drain, I don't think that any government decision related to newspapers will have "a huge impact on the future of communications in this country."

Re:isn't democracy great? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745720)

Older folks still read newspapers and vote in greater numbers than younger folks.

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746334)

so you mean the dead people that political folks write the names in on votes?

Re:isn't democracy great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746038)

Look at the profit margins on newspapers, they are surprisingly large except for really poorly run papers. The big media companies want this rule changed because the papers make money and they want a slice. It's true they don't make as much money as they used to, and their readership has declined, but they are still a major part of the traditional media environment and have a major impact on society. They really aren't circling the drain so much as going through a big transformation as they adapt to their customers changing preferences for content delivery and broader changes in American culture. People read less now than they used to, younger people "consume" less news, more people follow entertainment "news" than politics or local events now, etc.

Re:isn't democracy great? (4, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746048)

Considering that the newspaper as we know it is circling the drain

But the companies will still have undue influence of the press. Having a free press isn't just about not having government interference, but also about having a diverse enough job market for journalists that they are not simply serfs in a corporate fiefdom. At least with the 30% ownership law, we will still have three media outlets left in ten years. Of course there is nothing preventing them from having many of the same people on all three Board of Directors.http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/corporate_community.html [ucsc.edu] Face it, whoever controls the "tone" of the media can pick the winner of major elections. That's what all these giant elections funds are about, advertising. Now if big media become even more highly concentrated, then big election funds become secondary to being blessed by those who tell mainstream America what to think.

Re:isn't democracy great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746284)

I would agree, except that it hasn't been the case for at least 7 years now.

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746420)

I'm not sure if you are insinuating that the majority of voters get their news from the internet, or if you are noting that the objectivity of the media is already long lost. I strongly doubt the former, and sadly admit the latter.

Re:isn't democracy great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746458)

Ever read some of the NY Times articles online? MANY people do. Same for some other newspapers. Ever see articles on the web, or on TV, that quote newspapers? MANY people do.
Ever see news on the web that quotes, or has clips from info from TV? MANY people do.

Consider the reason for the rule, when you control the media, you control the interpretations of events by the public. And if you control what the public thinks, how is it possible to have a true democracy?

The FCC doesn't appear to be concerned about democracy. I'm glad this passed only because others will begin to take notice that the FCC has been doing the general public a dis-service ever since the current chairman took over, and just MAYBE, he might get canned. He can always get a job in the private sector, working for one of the companies he ruled in favor of.

Now it's up to congress to create a law which forbids what the FCC is giving away, and hopefully get it enacted before all the damage is done.

Re:isn't democracy great? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745388)

You could cast your and decide for yourself [myminicity.com]

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745416)

There most assuredly won't be an impact. Effects, perhaps, but very minimal ones, as print media is dying.

That aside, if you actually bothered to read the constitution, the only federal office that was intended to be popularly elected was that of Representative. In many circumstances indirect representative democracy is preferable to elections.

Imagine for a moment Ted "Series of Tubes" Stevens and Cynthia McKinney as elected federal judges with lifetime appointments.....

Re:isn't democracy great? (4, Insightful)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745692)

You say "unelected" as if "elected" were a good thing. I for one prefer my civil servants unelected, constrained by law and custom from privately benefiting in any way from their position, and well paid but not highly so. (Frankly, the people who want to run governments as if they were businesses really should fuck off to run businesses instead.) "Elected" to me means, "loudest-hooting monkey in the crowd of hooting monkeys". He who tells the most lies, promises the most outrageously stupid things, and greases the most palms gets elected. To be in a position of power and *unelected*, one must show at least some competence for some length of time. Unless of course appointed by an elected person, in which case, the same problems as with election apply.

The last four decades have shown up the 'bug' in democracy, and it is this: there is nothing constraining a politician to tell the truth, the whole truth, while in office or campaigning for office. Given that bug, the whole system is compromised.

Re:isn't democracy great? (4, Insightful)

garett_spencley (193892) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746010)

So ... if you write up a resume, throw it around to various companies; phone them to follow up and make sure they got it; have some former co-workers or bosses ready to tell someone a bunch of good things about you and then go to an interview to brag about your skills and end up finally getting the job because a group of individuals sat down and decided that your campaign for the position was the most impressive (or at least the most convincing and impressive series of exaggerations, false promises and downright lies) how is exactly is that different then campaigning to get elected for a government position ?

The way I see it campaigning for any "regular" job and campaigning for an "elected" government position is pretty much the same thing. The only difference is the number of people voting for you and the number of people you will be working for if you get the position.

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

Shakrai (717556) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746166)

The way I see it campaigning for any "regular" job and campaigning for an "elected" government position is pretty much the same thing

Of course the 24 hour news cycle doesn't really have any impact on my chances of scoring that new job I want.......

The only difference is the number of people voting for you and the number of people you will be working for if you get the position.

And the amount of damage you can do as an elected official....

Re:isn't democracy great? (2, Insightful)

Smidge204 (605297) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746448)

I'm pretty sure the "damage potential" is related to the job, and independent of the means to getting that job.

County judges are elected. Last I checked, a county judge couldn't do a fraction of the damage an appointed supreme court judge could. Fire department chiefs are elected, Michael Brown was appointed head of FEMA just before Hurricane Katrina, etc.
=Smidge=

Demi-Kratos Kinda Rules? (1)

Smordnys s'regrepsA (1160895) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746504)

And the amount of damage you can do as an elected official....


...well, apparently the non-elected officials can do just as much damage, and we the public can not even recall them from office. Splendid.

Unless you meant to imply that the elected officials are the ones that do less damage? It is so hard to tell what was meant when the statements are so vague.

Our elected officials are starting to find it a bit harder to shove legislation we-the-people oppose down our throats (suddenoutbreakofcommonsense amongst the people, realizing that they actually DO control the government like they are supposed to, but only when they make the effort?) - whereas the unelected have no need to concern themselves with constituents.



Of course the 24 hour news cycle doesn't really have any impact on my chances of scoring that new job I want.......


I think the whole point of TFA is that the news has a great impact for just about any part of our life. (how's that for vague!)

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746238)

Frankly, the people who want to run governments as if they were businesses really should fuck off to run businesses instead.
So...you would disagree that government is the original busuiness, if not the oldest profession?

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746326)

pretty sure that the "I'll do ya for a chunk of that tiger you killed" professions came first.

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746512)

Wasn't trying to say that government is the oldest profession.
Rather, it's the oldest business.
Once government got going, and regulated the tiger killing, members of the oldest profession decided that organizing == power, and the first bordello happened.
The government, departing the bordello, thought the idea so good, they went ahead and built Congress, and stuff.
Do you believe that?

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

jbeach (852844) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746436)

OK re: civil servants, as long as they actually don't benefit from their positions, by laws that are enforced. For example, if anyone who serves on a board like the FCC can't get hired by or take money from media corporations for at least, say, 5 years, and must be fully divested in order to serve. Otherwise, bug included, at least those who are voted in can be voted out - and the monopolistic media aided by the unelected FCC apparatchik's here is to the great benefit of those politicians who lie.

Re:isn't democracy great? (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746552)

I would prefer that people who want to run governments as if they were bureaucracies would sod off and run universities instead.

You know the mind of the founders? (1)

doug141 (863552) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746052)

The founders wrote into the constitution the supreme court justices, who also aren't elected. Why would the founders be appalled by the office of FCC commissioner?

Re:You know the mind of the founders? (3, Insightful)

Original Replica (908688) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746196)

Why would the founders be appalled by the office of FCC commissioner?

Because the founders also wrote in, a free press. Having three giant corporations controlling all of mass media isn't free. That's why there were ever restrictions on how many newspapers or radio stations or television channel any one company could own. Whatever size chuck of the media one group controls, it is that same size chunk of the electorate that they can spin towards the candidate of their choosing. Imagine if we only had Fox News, or only had Air America. You can see how that might give one company undue influence. Just look at what happened to the quality of pop music since ClearChannel has be allowed to take over radio stations all over the country. Now apply that to the quality (and pay for play) of all of the news that mainstream America gets.

Re:You know the mind of the founders? (4, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746528)

Because the founders also wrote in, a free press. Having three giant corporations controlling all of mass media isn't free.

Yeah, they would be appalled. Appalled that people turned to gov't instead of opening their own printing press.

Re:isn't democracy great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746476)

Unelected FCC commissioners making decisions that will have a huge impact on the future of communications in this country... I'm sure this is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they drafted the Constitution.

That's why they clearly wrote in the 1st amendment that only elected officials get to decide who can own the press, right? Or was it that no one in the government has any business telling the media what they can and can't do? "Congress shall make no law" is such complicated wording...

Re:isn't democracy great? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746642)

I for one welcome our new media overlords...

FCC corruption rife (-1, Troll)

Derek the Donutmaker (1204868) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745328)

This little document is set to blow the lid off the FCC when it is released in the next few hours [tinyurl.com]

Re:FCC corruption rife (2, Insightful)

ralf1 (718128) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745466)

Spam - don't follow the link

Censorship? Sure! Regulate Ownership? Fuck NO! (4, Insightful)

corsec67 (627446) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745334)

Why does the FCC not do what it is supposed to do, regulating who can use what bands of airwaves, but is quite happy to throw a bunch of unconstitutional fines around for exposing a "forbidden" section of epidermis or saying a "forbidden" word if they don't like the show?

Re:Censorship? Sure! Regulate Ownership? Fuck NO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745644)

The FCC does what it does to protect it's intrests [tinyurl.com]

Re:Censorship? Sure! Regulate Ownership? Fuck NO! (0)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745930)

That should be 'its interests.', not 'it's intrests.' Even trolls are not immune to spelling/grammar nazis.

Re:Censorship? Sure! Regulate Ownership? Fuck NO! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746150)

"It's" or "Its'," who cares?who cares? [myminicity.com]

Re:Censorship? Sure! Regulate Ownership? Fuck NO! (1)

glitch23 (557124) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746616)

Why does the FCC not do what it is supposed to do, regulating who can use what bands of airwaves, but is quite happy to throw a bunch of unconstitutional fines around for exposing a "forbidden" section of epidermis or saying a "forbidden" word if they don't like the show?

If not the FCC then who? Someone has to, yes, someone. We don't need (and if we get it eventually we'll soon see that we also don't want it) television without bounds. Without bounds there is chaos. The reason for the fines is the context in which content is shown on TV. The US doesn't know how to treat nudity in any way other than for entertainment and profit. That isn't what nudity is meant to be used for. Fix that problem and most people probably wouldn't mind nudity on TV but that would defeat the purpose of why *you* want it though wouldn't it? There is a time and place for yelling "fire!" just as there is a time and place for nudity. Pick the wrong time and place and you break the law. The freedom of speech does not trump everything. Violence on TV is also inappropriate. It's funny, I seem to recall many years ago when movies would be advertised with "inappropriate violence" or "gratuitous sex". Now movies are advertised with sex and violence like it is needed and not extraneous in any way.

Does this really matter? (1)

idiotnot (302133) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745342)

If anyone hasn't already noticed, print media is dying. Prime example would be Tribune Co., but you could also look at the New York Times. Circulation is dropping rapidly, and digital presence will soon be as, if not more, important than print editions.

On a related note, I really missed being able to pick up a copy of the Weekly World News last week while I was traveling. Their crosswords were always great on the plane.

Re:Does this really matter? (1)

svvampy (576225) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745540)

If print media is dying, maybe netcraft will confirm such.

In the worst case it's the beginning of the end for newspapers. It is important to remember that the difference between news on dead trees and news on your screen is only a quantum leap. A newspaper is not just about printing stories on paper, there's a whole organisation devoted towards gathering and processing information. Think of it as changing graphics libraries.

Also, as easy as it is to passively absorb some spiel from a newscaster, I can absorb information faster through text --probably by an order or magnitude. I can also do so at my leisure. I can't recall the last time that I had a full half hour to suffer through the evening news.

Re:Does this really matter? (1)

Isaac-1 (233099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746360)

This is a big problem to those of us with pet parrots.

Thank God (5, Funny)

Malevolent Tester (1201209) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745368)

As an Englishman, the one flaw in my inborn sense of cultural superiority has been the lack of Rupert Murdoch owned tabloids in America. Thank you, FCC.

Re:Thank God (5, Interesting)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745536)

the US Government has become more evil than the government we once fought to gain independence from in the first place, is it too late to surrender to the British? sorry about that mess back in 1776...

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745698)

I don't know. You still haven't said thank you to us for burning DC.

Re:Thank God (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746356)

Couldn't have a white house without a need to white wash the non-white scorch marks =). Tory power!

Re:Thank God (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746410)

Oh yeah, the British government is so much better. They'd put freakin' surveillance cameras in your breakfast cereal, on every frosted flake, if it were technically possible.

Re:Thank God (1)

zzatz (965857) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745696)

Murdoch has owned the NY Post since 1976. I'd call it a tabloid. I'd call it lots of other things, but I'd need to call in the Marines to help expand my vocabulary.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745708)

Don't worry, once the Muslims are through with you (you'll long for the good old days of Cromwell), there will be no culture left.

they may take europe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745942)

But I sincerely doubt they will ever take north America, and by that I mean Mexico, USA and Canada. We got way too many guns in the hands of joe citizenry to put up with much sharia nonsense. Now the three nations may squabble with each other over this and that, and we do it all the time, but push comes to shove, the hockey, football and soccer players all agree on one thing-, well two things after beer-we like it here like it is, thanks. NO ONE is going to attempt a land invasion of north america, we would call that a target rich environment. You Europeans can use harsh language against them, you've been deballed by your governments and faked out this is a "good idea".

Now I am all for getting out of the middle east, and leaving all those folks alone to sort their own crap out, and also working triple overtime to come up with a replacement for oil. If that ain't enough, and they want to expand into some global caliphate-well it just isn't happening. We won't put up with it, Russia won't, China won't and India won't. That should be sufficient I think.

    They are surrounded and completely outgunned now, so I don't expect them to expand much past old europe (you guys are being pretty stupid there really, wake up and smell the "arabica") and africa.

  And as soon as we have a lot more alternative energy out there, making their oil less worthwhile to fork over hard cash for, they will collapse because they don't *do anything* but sell oil and try to manipulate the markets. This is eventually going to backfire on them with western emergency protectionism and seizures of assets (it'll happen, inevitable now), and I bet the younger folks will just get sick and tired of those old muslim mullahs saying they can't have any fun (it boils down to that, it is illegal to have any fun at all there) eventually and string 'em all up. Solve a lot of problems that way. And it really is up to the younger folks over there to reject the middle ages and come into the modern times, their call.

Re:they may take europe (1)

Lost Engineer (459920) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746584)

it is illegal to have any fun at all there
I like camel racing, you insensitive clod.

Re:Thank God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745950)

Cromwell was a simple country squire before he got pushed too far. I think the Pakis may find that spirit's not quite dead if they do the same.

Re:Thank God (4, Funny)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746316)

As an Australian, I apologise to you for Rupert Murdoch.

We're very, very sorry.

Re:Thank God (1)

xouumalperxe (815707) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746556)

Rupert Murdoch is Australian? I had no idea. I guess that he proves that for Australia, the saying rings true: Better out than in.

Re:Thank God (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746628)

He was originally from Adelaide, but I believe he is an American citizen now.

obligatory (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745372)

I for one,, welcome our comdotslashcasting overlords.

....too much?

Bill Moyers piece (4, Informative)

chumpboy (680707) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745426)

Bill Moyers just did a piece on this Monday evening:

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/12142007/watch2.html [pbs.org]

While fascinating, it was also one of the most horrific examples I have recently seen of a runaway Executive Branch. Once again we, as US citizens, need to rely upon our elected officials in Congress. Who knows how well that will turn out......

Re:Bill Moyers piece (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745486)

PBS also had a special posted here [myminicity.com]

Re:Bill Moyers piece (3, Interesting)

nebaz (453974) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746194)

As much as I have issues with the current Executive Branch, it is an act of Congress that created the FCC, and Congress that ultimately has the responsibility to regulate things. Any laws they create take precident over the FCC. They are more to blame than the executive branch, who is at least consistent in it's views about most things (pro-big-business). Delegating the responsibility of regulating the airwaves to 5 people seems the ultimate in shirking responsibilities, in my opinion. I realize that it is not this congress that created the FCC, but maybe if we had fewer 3 letter agencies, and actually had Congress directly make policy, they would be busy enough to actually have to do work, instead of grandstand about trivial issues. It's a lot harder to bribe 250 people than 3. Nowhere in the constitution does it say anything about any government entity having the ability to delegate its authority to a smaller body.

Other less-nightmarish results... (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745448)

Well, it may (probably will) end up being a more propagandized operation, but there are outcomes that most media owners may not have anticipated:

* the newspaper dies, in favor of locally-owned websites that provide the same info, networked across other regional/local sites to become a loosely-knit news org in its own right (and unlike FreeBSD, the megacorp-owned newspaper really is losing relevance and readership to the web site... now if only these sites could start talking to each other).

* the independant papers, stations, and etc. pick up credibility among the more clued-in folks out there (and in many areas, already has. Most big towns/cities have one or more free weekly papers that do very well by giving the paper away for free and charging for ads).

* CNN, Fox, MSNBC, etc. start losing eyeballs to more regionally-oriented channels (e.g. NWCN in the Portland-Seattle corridor, where you get news that's local enough to matter directly, but regional and global enough to keep you apprised of stuff you might want or need to know. Yes it's run by Comcast, but it does open more than a couple of doors to competing local interests who want to do similar things).

* Local indie stations get a larger audience as propaganda-weary listeners decide that they really don't like their news in 'Clear-Channel-beige' anymore. If my little corner of the planet is any indication, it's already begun to happen.

While these may or may not ever occur, the possibilities are there, and as naive as it may sound, I tend to put at least a little faith in the ability of a contrary and loud-mouthed population such as that found in the US to devise their own alternate solutions to media-megacorp-induced propaganda.

IMHO, Yellow Journalism has never really went away - it merely diversified. We merely get glimpses and bits of occasional integrity swimming in an ocean of propagandistic crap, with alternating currents of barely-masked opinion clashing against each other on a constant basis.

In either case, I get more news off the Internet now, and from non-established sources (e.g. not CNN, not Fox, not the NYT)... I suspect that more of my fellow humans do as well - more than any media corp would ever be willing to admit, even to themselves.

/P

Re:Other less-nightmarish results... (2, Insightful)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745706)

In either case, I get more news off the Internet now, and from non-established sources (e.g. not CNN, not Fox, not the NYT)... I suspect that more of my fellow humans do as well - more than any media corp would ever be willing to admit, even to themselves.

Maybe so. But the rest of the masses will be reading print versions of the drek that appears on Fox News -- or alternately, the drek that is Wolf Blitzer and Lou Dobbs on CNN. People who want real news will have to seek out the print version [theonion.com] of "The Daily Show."

Re:Other less-nightmarish results... (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746108)

You know, I like watching NWCN, but their site is utter crap. I'm not going to create an account, give you all my detailed info, and my email address to read something off the AP wire, or to read the weather. that is just crap.

Re:Other less-nightmarish results... (1)

antiMStroll (664213) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746252)

Why hasn't this already happened then? How will a injection of new network funds and resources, including the benefit of cross-media promotion, hasten the already non-existant rush from core dailies to free-at-the-Starbucks independents? Wishful thinking.

Re:Other less-nightmarish results... (2, Insightful)

anthrax (23655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746588)

What happens when the FCC allows bandwidth providers like Verizon to start filtering the content that crosses their networks? Where will we turn when the Internet in the US is censored by corporate interests (like Murdoch) instead of allowing the free exchange of ideas? Then where the public go for news and information? The further consolidation of how and where information is gather, disseminated and filtered will have a massive negative impact for all Americans. There is but one law that stands the test of time, the law of unintended consequences. It could have been worse, some on the FCC panel wanted to go much further, but this is still a bad move.

How the hell? (5, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745460)

Quoth the article header: " On the same day the FCC voted 3 to 2 (by a different split) to cap the size of any cable company at 30% of the nationwide market, a limit Comcast is up against."

How the hell does that work, anyhow? Does the ISP start turning down new subscribers ("Sorry folks, we're all full up on business here, please try our competition")?

I've got to be misunderstanding it somehow. Please help me out here.

Re:How the hell? (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745558)

I'm guessing it means they can't expand into any new markets.

Re:How the hell? (1)

Kwirl (877607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745802)

OK, let's say comcast has 29.9 million subscribers, and they consider attempting to purchase another local cable provider that has a potential reach of .2 million customers. That would put them over the limit, and prevent them from purchasing that provider, leaving them open to bids by giantconglomeratemonopolyprovider #2.

Re:How the hell? (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745898)

Okay, so let's say the regulations stipulate they can't grow larger than 30% by purchasing a competing provider. Does that mean they don't get in trouble if they simply acquire new customers into their existing business and grow too large?

Re:How the hell? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745892)

How the hell does that work, anyhow? Does the ISP start turning down new subscribers ("Sorry folks, we're all full up on business here, please try our competition")?

It means they can't move into new neighborhoods, mostly. For instance, Comcast and Verizon have a thing where one of them isn't allowed to sell service in downtown Portland OR. There's lots of areas that Comcast (or Warner, or any cableco) has never been allowed to go and install infrastructure - either because of previous regulations, or because growth has placed customers well out of existing networks.

Ostensibly it's to allow competition to sneak in (or corporate slugs like Qwest to claim how 'empaupered' they are in the television market, thus moving in as naught more than an excuse to open Yet Another Revenue Stream... "oh, and can we put DSL lines in here too while we're at it? kthx.")

In reality, it's a nasty patchwork in some regions. Real nasty in still others... enough so that you'd pretty much have to be a media megacorp just to afford the infrastructure required to string all those patches together, let alone feed them.

(personally, if a corp gets bigger than 30% of the market, why not just divide the bastard with a machete, a'la the Baby Bells? At least then they'd at least attempt to self-select territories in some sort of halfway logical and coherent pattern...)

/P

Re:How the hell? (1)

Thaelon (250687) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745990)

Easy. Comcast spins the numbers such that it doesn't look like they have more than 30%.

Haven't you ever read How to Lie with Statistics [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:How the hell? (1)

GuardianBob420 (309353) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746372)

I think when they say "30 percent of the market" they are talking about the number of potential subscribers, not actual subscribers, being set by a regulatory cap. This is probably done by setting up some geographic boundaries using demographic data; but, I didn't do the research here so I'm just guessing!

FCC and Comcast (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745478)

I sense a recent stream of FCC rulings against Comcast and the cable industry to the benefit of AT&T/Verizon...? Wikipedia article doesn't show money/interest trails, though.

Sirius/XM (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21745488)

And yet 11 months in and they have yet to decide anything about the sirius/XM merger.

Good work, what a flaming mess of a country this has turned into.

Re:Sirius/XM (1)

Misch (158807) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745686)

Well, that's primarily a Department of Justice/Federal Trade Commission issue, not an FCC issue, though the FCC will most certainly get its hands on it.

Re:Sirius/XM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21746018)

Yes, because the Sirius/XM merger is the most pressing issue facing America.

Ignores Congress? (4, Interesting)

Xeth (614132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745500)

If Congress genuinely opposed the maneuver, couldn't they simply pass a law enacting the restrictions they wanted? My understanding is that executive departments need to operate within the law. The legislative decides, the executive abides.

Now, if the bought and paid for congressmen just wanted to appear populist while not actually doing anything, I suppose simply speaking out against the decision would do fine.

maybe this will promote pirate radio (1)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745586)

i may start an unlicensed radio station using low power of course and just broadcast for 30 minutes to an hour every evening, garnering my news from the intertubes, paying close attention to foreign press from the EU & Canada, might as well since the media in the USA all seem to all sound the same anyway...

Might I recommend the PCI MAX card? (1)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746470)

You can get it for $160-ish from some American Christmaslight stores (Yes, crazy!), or you can get it for 160 *EUROS* directly from the PCI MAX people. It's a PCI card that you plugin to your computer -- instant broadcasting.

This could save print journalism. (1)

tlambert (566799) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745674)

This could save print journalism.

The other parts are interesting, too, but the part that grabbed me is that this permits large radio and television conglomerates to prop up the ailing print newspaper media, which in the US anyway, is in dire need of propping.

I think it's actually a good thing that they are now allowing the purchases of these companies, which would otherwise go out of business.

As to the Comcast issue - it's not this particular part of the public being ignored - if anything, I'd like to see the cable infrastructure nationalized and leased out to the highest bidder; it would save me on property taxes, too.

-- Terry

Re:This could save print journalism. (1)

dino2gnt (1072530) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745854)

Why should a dying business model be saved? What makes it different from any other business who's time has passed?

Re:This could save print journalism. (1)

Torvaun (1040898) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745988)

The government isn't spending the dollars to save it, it's just allowing other people to throw good money after bad if they really want to.

If someone thinks they could do something with it, why not let them buy it?

Re:This could save print journalism. (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746088)

This could save print journalism.

...from what?

AP, UPI, Reuters... they'd all get their dough off of websites if the paper dies, and aside from local articles, they're pretty much all you get in an average paper (some, like the NYT or WashTimes etc. do make a larger effort to get their own writers out in the world, but for the most part, pool reports are pretty much it for anything that isn't specifically local).

Personally, if you want to save print journalism, what you need is a loose network and open source the thing.

No, that's not a buzzword. You get a bunch of folks who can string together some decent HTML, coupled with journalism school students (and grads, and amateurs who can write), decent and somewhat neutral writers or whomever, and pass the info around. For once it would be really cool to get news and info about some politician screwing up, but get that news from people who are there with cameras and laptops. Sports scores? No problem - tabulate 'em and pass 'em into the pool if that's what turns you on.

In short, you make your own pool of volunteers. Pay bounties on verifiable images and stories (e.g. if you get it from more than n sources and it's good info that you can corroborate through independent sources, you pay the best submitter(s) real well). Each reporter has his/her own website, containing news of a standard format that can be shared (into frames or etc), and their own particular site can be arranged however... for your local site, you pick and choose what you want printed that day. Just keep in mind that someone else may do a better job of it than you, and probably will if you suck at it.

Real rough idea and all, but it sounds like fun... I'll have to bang on a lot of details before anything formal gets spat out :)

/P

Well (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745850)

Surprise Surprise. Did anybody actually expect...something else? The Party rules. Party on! I hope that you all understand that if you continue elect the Party into office, it can only get worse. You have my personal guarantee on that.

This Affects ALL Media (1)

jdjbuffalo (318589) | more than 6 years ago | (#21745946)

It's not just the newspapers that this affects, it affects ALL the media in these major cities.

This means that, in theory, someone could buy up most/all the TV stations and radio stations in addition to the print media and have a virtual lock on entire cities and possibly entire regions.

I can't see how this could be a good thing. Then again, I like many different sources of information...

I think our only salvation is that online media is becoming the prime source for news.

I don't care. (1)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746034)

And I say that I don't care as a firm representative of the not giving a damn party. As questionable as ownership restrictions were in the Before Internet Time, the availability of infinite platforms from which to speak from has removed any value whatsoever and means the restrictions are nothing more than the gov't inserting it's much too large nose into business that isn't a problem to begin with.

Does it really matter anymore? (1)

core_dump_0 (317484) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746062)

These decisions only affect Media version 3.11. Now, we have true freedom of speech and the press with the Internet, the New Media. Why should we really care about the biased, exploitative, trashy cesspool that is Old Media?

Capping Market Share Hurts Subscribers (0, Troll)

pin0chet (963774) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746206)

What right does the FCC have to tell Comcast it can't control more than 30% of the market? Sure, Comcast isn't the greatest cable company in the U.S., but is better than most. What about the millions of people suffering under Mediacom or Charter? I bet they'd gladly take Comcast over their current crap provider (and rumor has it Comcast has even considered buying out smaller rivals) Small regional cable companies like Mediacom and Charter offer terrible programming and mediocre service compared to Comcast -- But thanks to the FCC , millions are stuck with idiotic companies.

Comcast isn't perfect. They limit Bittorrent seeding and they have invisi-caps, albeit much higher than Cox's. Yet, their 16/1 broadband for $52.95/month is actually a decent offering, especially compared to DSL's abysmal speeds for 95% of Americans.

Comcast's video service is pretty solid and it's improved a lot in the past few years, aside from occassional glitches and buggy DVR software. Not as many HD channels as satellite, but compared to even TimeWarner, Comcast has impressive HD On-demand using Switched Digital Video, good promotional pricing, and now that they're upgrading to 1Ghz systems Comcast is starting to offer 30 or 40 HD channels in some areas.

It's not like Comcast is even close to being able to exert monopoly power for any of the services they offer. This is because so many substitutes exist -- for video, there's Satellite, broadcast, U-verse, Fios, streaming sites like YouTube, iTunes/iPod, cell phone video. For internet, there's Wi-Max, 3G, EDGE, DSL, Dial-Up, and Dedicated Lines.

MAYBE if Comcast had so much power they could jack up prices exorbitantly without getting eaten alive by competition, then the FCC would have a case. But as it is, the FCC's decision is dead wrong. The ruling marks yet another by Kevin Martin to hurt the cable companies and help the telco companies. I wonder if there's some ulterior motive to Martin's seemingly anti-cable, pro-telco agenda as of late? Either way, thanks to the FCC, consumers lose.

With apologies to Futurama... (1)

Dhar (19056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746302)

"Newspaper"
"News what?"
"Newspaper"
"What paper?"
"Newspaper"
"What what?"
"Ah, never mind."

-g.

Set back... (3, Insightful)

yroJJory (559141) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746404)

When Bush was "selected" back in November 2000, all of my friends were very depressed, moping around saying "Our country's progress has just been turned back 25 years."

I guess it's at least 32 years now.

When do the people factor into any of these laws? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746614)

Do the people even matter anymore, or is it a government by business and for business?

Why dont we just have one media outlet, controlled by the government. At least that way we'll know for sure its all bullshit. Why even have the 6 media giants now? Lets just have 1. There is no room for truth and justice in our new America... so lets just end the facade.

The government exists for business, and the people get screwed. The laws apply to the poor, to protect the rich overlords from being slaughtered for the injustice they impose on the masses.

I think its about time for the next Paris Hilton cunt slip headline on cnn. Sorry boys in iraq, you're dieing and its not important to any of us in America. Not George Bush and not Hillary Clinton.... or any of the other republican/democrat muppets that we call "civil servants"

Abolish the FCC (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 6 years ago | (#21746632)

The FCC has for a long time not represented the interests of the citizens of the United States. What is needed is to wreck what currently stands and replace it.

How about selecting from a pool of those with either radio amateur or general radiotelephone licenses. Then narrow it to include only those with info, cs, or engineering degrees. From there do lottery selection for FCC commissioners.

I suspect what we'd see out the other end is a much fairer system for bandwidth auctions, management, and one that would be anti-consolidation.
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