08.04.2003 12:00 PM
FCC opposition is "on a roll"

MoveOn.org, the online activist organization boasting two million members, is predicting media reform victory in Congress but is warning members who flooded Capitol Hill with phone calls that the battle is far from over.

Organizer Eli Pariser tells media activists that "we're on a roll" with the huge House vote against the 35 percent ownership cap, but it is the "least substantive" rule change. "The rules relaxing bans on newspaper/broadcast cross ownership and local TV consolidation (duopolies) are what really hurt media diversity and independence," he said.

"Although the amendment lost, it received a remarkable 174 votes, including 34 Republicans-far more than insiders thought possible. Getting a strong vote was the mission, and we accomplished it. We needed to show legislators that there is strong support in the House for the full FCC rollback."

The House-Senate appropriations conference won't happen until September, he advised. "In the meantime, we are working tirelessly to ensure that the Senate is skillfully coordinated and that the House Democrats are unified when this comes back to the floor. Growing numbers of Americans are realizing that real democracy demands democratic media, and Congress is listening-thanks to you."

For more information on the public campaign against the FCC ownership rules, visit www.mediareform.net.

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