CMA v. WTTW, Round Two (letter in the Chicago Reader)

Posted by Mitchell - July 31, 2004 (entry 219)

(Published in the July 30, 2004 issue of the Chicago Reader)

CMA v. WTTW, Round Two
The accusation by WTTW's Randy King accusation against Chicago Media Action is ill-founded. Chicago Media Action isn't interested in self-aggrandizement; CMA is working to improve the media in Chicago, and to make the city's main public television station worthy of the word "public". WTTW can bad mouth CMA to no end, can accuse us of making requests we didn't make in the first place, and can accuse us of confusing public access with public television, but I have yet to see WTTW refute the substance of our study, which confirms its negligence to most of Chicago's population who aren't wealthy and well-connected.

Indeed, WTTW's programming is dedicated to the very rich -- that section of society which is already abundantly represented in our media and which PBS was not set up to serve.

And as to WTTW covering the FCC's media ownership rules, if this was the only mention by WTTW on this issue, then Chicago Tonight was merely aping its corporate media brethren. The issue finally got widespread coverage just days before the FCC's ruling on June 2, 2003, when the issue could be safely addressed. WTTW didn't do anything to discuss the issue in the months of organizing before the ruling was slated to come down when such a discussion could have made a difference, and so WTTW should be ashamed.

Mitchell Szczepanczyk
Chicago Media Action

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