The Federal Communications Commission will be coming to Tampa on Monday April 30, 2007.
The hearing date, time, and location are as follows:
Date: Monday, April 30, 2007
Time: 4:00 p.m. -11:00 p.m.
Location: Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center
This is the fourth hearing the FCC has held dating back to October of last year. According to their latest press release:
The purpose of the hearing is to fully involve the public in the process of the 2006 Quadrennial Broadcast Media Ownership Review that the Commission is currently conducting. The hearing is open to the public, and seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis.
This hearing is the fourth in a series of media ownership hearings the Commission intends to hold across the country.
Now get this. They have asked me to serve on a panel. I know! Me of all people. I will be giving a short presentation on how I compete with local media sources. Basically, I have five minutes to say what I want about how the new media can and will compete with broadcasters…
Kelly Benjamin, on Seminole Heights blog, Kate Robinson, on her Out in Left Field blog, and Robert C, his on Interstate4Jamming blog, have all shared their perspectives. To a certain degree, I understand where they are coming from.
A handful of media companies dominate what you watch on television, hear on the radio, and read in the newspapers. As thier influence spreads to other outlets, the diversity of what you see diminishes. Corporate media conglomerates are more concerned with profits than programming. If the FCC succeeds in “relaxing” their ownership rules coverage of many important issues will (continue to) be ignored, independent voices will be stifled, and public discourse will be relegated to what THEY deem as newsworthy.
The FCC is again threatening to loosen media ownership rules—allowing a few massive corporations to swallow up even more local newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations.
Anyone who has paid attention to the media business over the past two decades should be concerned at the degree to which the industry has gone into the hands of a few highly bankrolled corporations.
Now let me surprise a lot of you. Kelly, Kate, and Robert are absolutely right. 100%.
But here’s the kicker: It’s not that big of a deal.
You see, the power that Kelly, Kate, Robert, and I all have is the one thing the big media companies can not take away. As Big Media chases the almighty dollar, as they cut staff left and right, as their advertising revenue disappears to the Internet (thank you Google). As they fail to understand the changes around them. They will falter.
And people like Kelly, Kate, Robert, and I will be there to take their place. We can and will offer the world more voices, more choices. Big Media may hold tight to the dying media platforms. But technology has advanced to the point that anyone … and I do mean anyone… can join the ranks of the media.
Blogs. Podcasts. Vlogs. YouTube videos. And much more. These are the future of media. And there is virtually nothing that NewsCorp, ClearChannel, Entercom, Disney, NBC-Univesal, Viacom, or AOL Time Warner can do about it.