Broadcast networks avoid media ownership coverage

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a media watch organization, said that the three major broadcast networks are avoiding news coverage of the FCC’s proposed broadcast ownership rule changes.

Since the FCC announced the review last September, FAIR has been researching news reporting of the ownership debate.

The organization found that only a single short story aired on ABC in the period beginning in September through the end of January 2003. That story aired on ABC’s World News This Morning at 4:30 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2002.

The FCC's current review of media ownership rules will have an enormous impact on the future of broadcasting and on media diversity in the U.S., FAIR said. The media companies behind the network news shows stand to gain increased revenue from a relaxation of the ownership caps.

General Electric’s NBC, Disney’s ABC and Viacom’s CBS have all filed public comments on media ownership issues with the FCC. Yet the news divisions at these networks, said FAIR, have failed to broadcast stories on the contentious congressional and public hearings that have focused on media ownership.

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