Congressional Leaders Ask FCC to Perform an Equity Audit
They urge the FCC to assess how its policies harmed communities of color
WASHINGTON—Twenty five members of Congress and the media advocacy group Media 2070 have sent a letter asking the FCC to perform an equity audit that would examine how the agency’s policy decisions have hurt African Americans and other communities of color, according the Associated Press.
The letter was sent to Acting FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. It asked the FCC to conduct an assessment of how its actions and policies may have harmed communities of color and requested the agency to lay out “affirmative steps the agency commits to taking to break down barriers to just media and telecommunication practices,” the AP reported.
The letter reflects widespread concern about the impact of racism and the underrepresentation of African Americans and other communities of color in terms of media ownership, employment in newsrooms and representation in entertainment programming.
A recent RDTNA survey found, for example, that people of color represented nearly 40% of the U.S. workforce but people of color represent less than 10% of all general managers at stations. Likewise, 79.9% of news directors were white, with the proportion of African Americans (6.5%), Latinos (10.3%), Asian Americans (2.7%) and Native Americans (0.8%) being far less than their share of the workforce.
For more on the letter see the full AP article.
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George Winslow is the senior content producer for TV Tech. He has written about the television, media and technology industries for nearly 30 years for such publications as Broadcasting & Cable, Multichannel News and TV Tech. Over the years, he has edited a number of magazines, including Multichannel News International and World Screen, and moderated panels at such major industry events as NAB and MIP TV. He has published two books and dozens of encyclopedia articles on such subjects as the media, New York City history and economics.