Thursday, March 15, 2007

Geez, A Set of Communication Regulators that Care about Consolidation

There was a time when the FCC exerted regulatory teeth with regards to ownership, cared about local voices and even did more than sell off the airwaves to the highest bidder, and fine stations for playing swear words and showing the occasional naughty bit. Those were the days.

Canada, land of the best radio on earth (and it is, trust me on this) has, get this, regulators who actually care about broadcast diversity
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the Canadian government broadcast regulator, intends that the growing rate of media concentration in Canada merits public debate.

The CRTC announced on Tuesday (March 13) that it will launch a proceeding to review issues relating to the Canadian Broadcasting Act's objective of ensuring that the country's broadcasting system provides Canadians with a diversity of voices.

The scope of the proceeding will be set out in a notice of public hearing to be issued shortly. A public hearing will follow in the fall of 2007.

"The current wave of consolidation in the Canadian broadcasting industry, and the possibility of more major transactions in the future, raises important questions relating to the diversity of voices in Canada," said Konrad von Finckenstein, the recently named chairman of the CRTC in a statement. "Holding a public hearing will allow us to give these issues the thorough and in-depth study they deserve."
So if you are in Canada and reading this, strap on yer boots, do yer homework and get involved in these public hearings.

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