The Clock Is Ticking: 60 Days to Stop Media Consolidation

Dandelion Salad

By Josh Stearns
Free Press
March 5, 2008

This morning Sen. Byron Dorgan introduced a bill in the Senate that would overturn the FCC’s disastrous December vote to gut media ownership rules. But there is a catch. The bill will expire unless it is passed in 60 legislative days.

So the clock is ticking �” we have to act now to protect our communities from a massive new wave of media consolidation.

Take action now
or read on to find out more about this important new bill.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

In the days and weeks before the FCC dismantled the 30-year-old rule that prevented one company from owning the major newspaper and a radio or TV station in one town, Commissioner Michael Copps noted that it felt like “Déjà vu all over again.”

In 2003, when the FCC tried to do away with all media ownership rules, nearly 3 million people took action, writing their members of Congress, telling their friends and organizing their communities to speak out on this important issue. With that kind of momentum, lawmakers had no choice but to listen. The Senate voted to overturn the FCC decision, before the courts tossed them out altogether.

“The situation isn’t going to repair itself,” proclaimed Commissioner Copps on the day of the FCC vote last December. “Big media is not going to repair it. This Commission is not going to repair it. But the people, their elected representatives, and attentive courts can repair it. Last time the Commission went down this road, the majority heard and felt the outrage of millions of citizens and Congress and then the court. … Last time a lot of insiders were surprised by the country’s reaction. This time they should be forewarned.”

Time for Action

In just one week after the FCC vote more than 200,000 people signed on to an open letter to Congress calling on them to overturn the FCC’s holiday handout to Big Media. Now with a bill in the Senate, we need to build the momentum and turn up the heat on our policy makers.

Stop Big Media

A bipartisan group of 26 senators wrote a letter to the FCC in December vowing to “immediately move legislation that will revoke and nullify the proposed rule” and now is their chance to follow through on that promise.

Here’s what we need to do:

1. We need every person who signed on to the open letter in 2007 to write their Senators again asking them to support to Senator Dorgan’s “resolution of disapproval.”

2. Spread the word. We need all of you to talk with five of your friends or neighbors and get them to take action as well. If all 200,000 people can get just five other people to take action, we’ll get a million letters into the Senate.

There has never been a more important time to take a stand for quality journalism, strong local news, and diverse and independent voices. Can you help us fight for a better media in America?

Take Action Online Here:

Send a Message to a Friend Here:

Then join others from around the country at the Free Press Action Network to talk about other ideas to make your voice heard and get the word out in your community. The discussion is going on now at

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