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Editor’s note: The full content of this article was written by reporter Roberto Torres Luzardo and originally appeared at Technical.ly Philly.
In a reply brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, Washington D.C.-based nonprofit Free Press and allies like Philly’s Media Mobilizing Project called on the Federal Communications Commission to advocate for more diverse ownership in radio and TV stations.
“The FCC tries to have it both ways — claiming it has addressed race [and] gender ownership diversity yet insisting it cannot,” the groups say in the brief, filed on Friday. “Neither is true: The FCC must heed its obligation to at minimum do no harm to race [and] gender diversity by apprising itself of knowable facts.”
The document, a joint statement that was also undersigned by the Common Cause, the Communications Workers of America, the Prometheus Radio Project and the United Church of Christ Office of Communication, Inc., was introduced as part of a lawsuit that challenges the federal agency’s repeal of several broadcast-ownership rules that limit media consolidation.
Across the U.S., hundreds of local TV stations are in the hands of just two large broadcast groups: Sinclair and Nexstar. Critics of the FCC’s move repeal of the rules say it further hinders station ownership diversity at a time when partisanship among Americans is at its highest level in decades.
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