The News Media Alliance filed comments in support of the National Association of Broadcasters’ Petition for Reconsideration of the FCC’s August 2016 decision to keep in place its ban on newspaper/broadcaster cross-ownership.
Over a decade of evidence on the record demonstrates that the cross-ownership ban undermines the very values – competition, localism, and diversity – for which the rules were created. Contrary to this evidence, the FCC recently concluded that the ban should continue to exist as-is. Such a decision is arbitrary and capricious in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), and also violates the First Amendment because of its restrictions on free expression.
The cross-ownership ban prevents investment in newspapers that create high-quality original content. This lack of investment harms local newsgathering and reporting, where readers rely on newspapers the most. The ban’s intention to promote competition does not outweigh its harm, especially as countless sources for news and information across the Internet already exist. The newspaper industry uniquely serves as a source for unfettered information based on long-term investigative research that requires tremendous investment and resources. The 41 year-old cross-ownership ban does not reflect today’s market and must be repealed immediately.
Access the Comments.
Danielle Coffey is Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at News Media Alliance