FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2011
Mitchell Szczepanczyk (Chicago Media Action)
Scott Sanders (Chicago Media Action)
CHICAGOANS TO PROTEST FOX-32 CHICAGO IN WAKE OF VOICEMAIL HACKING SCANDAL
What: Local group urges FCC to pull TV broadcast licenses of criminals
When: Friday, July 22, 5pm to 6pm CT
Where: Outside of Fox Chicago, 205 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago
Amid the broadening scandal implicating the Rupert-Murdoch owned News Corporation in illegally hacking into voicemails, bribing police agencies, and corrupting politicians, Chicago Media Action (CMA) will hold a public protest outside of the Murdoch-owned Fox Chicago studios on Friday, July 22.
CMA members and protest participants will educate the public about the sordid US history of News Corporation and the danger posed to the public interest if the British media practices were also done in the US. As one remedy, CMA will demand that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) be prepared to pull the broadcast licenses of FOX broadcast television affiliates, including WFLD Fox Chicago 32.
"The scandal in the UK has exposed a level of corruption and abuse of power which has set off loud alarms in the United States as well, said CMA organizer Scott Sanders. The use of such sleazy tactics to blackmail politicians, manipulate regulators, and unreasonably influence public opinion is intolerable in a democracy. If the Murdoch media empire is found guilty of criminal activity in the United States, then the FCC must take action.
American broadcast TV stations are licensed by the FCC and licensees are obliged to serve the "public interest, convenience and necessity". The FCC has the power to revoke the license of any broadcaster who neglects this standard, though historically this has seldom been done. CMA and the public will press for that remedy if investigations confirm criminal activity in the US by Murdoch-owned media.
ABOUT CHICAGO MEDIA ACTION: CMA is a Chicago area-group dedicated to analyzing and broadening Chicago's major media and to building Chicago's independent media. In 2005, CMA was the lead actor of an FCC license challenge against WFLD Fox-32 Chicago on the grounds of providing poor coverage of local issues in the 2004 election; that challenge is now in its fifth appeal before the FCC. For more information about CMA, visit www.chicagomediaaction.org
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