For Immediate Release

Contact: Karen Young

Organizational Contact: Mitchell Szczepanczyk
President, Chicago Media Action


Protest the New FCC Media Ownership Rules, Thursday, September 4

WHO: Chicago Media Action (CMA), Independent Press Association (IPA), Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women (NOW)
WHAT: National day of protest and education to stop the media monopoly
WHEN: Thursday, September 4, 2003, 5PM-6PM, the day the new FCC media ownership rules go into effect WHERE: Tribune Plaza, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago

The FCC was created to protect the airwaves -- a scarce public resource that is vital to democracy. Instead, they're giving it away to huge corporations whose sole interest is profit. Now the FCC is helping big media to get even bigger.

Ignoring the protests of more than half a million people and hundreds of organizations, FCC Chairman Michael Powell and his two Republican colleagues on the commission voted to allow the media behemoths that already dominate our airwaves -- the likes of General Electric, Rupert Murdoch, AOL-Time Warner, and Viacom -- to gobble up even more TV stations and local newspapers. On September 4, the FCC's new media ownership regulations go into effect.

During the war on Iraq, we witnessed just how dangerous a threat to democracy the corporate stranglehold over the public's airwaves can be. Viewers were 25 times more likely to see a pro-war U.S. source than an anti-war one, performers who spoke out against the war were vilified, anti-war protesters were marginalized, and the human devastation wrought by shock and awe went largely unreported.

If the FCC's decision isn't reversed, we'll end up having "more sensationalism, commercialism, crassness, violence, homogenization -- and noticeably less serious coverage of news and local events," according to FCC Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk of Chicago Media Action commented, "September 4 marks a day of woe, since it is the date when the corrupt and despicable FCC deregulation ruling of June 2 goes into effect. September also marks the beginning of a showdown in Congress over the possible repeal of this deregulation. There's no guarantee the repeal will pass, but even if it doesn't, it's foolhardy to think that's the final outcome."

For more information on Sept. 4 actions around the country, visit