Satellite dishes on the Isle of Dogs, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from Steve Bowbrick’s photostream

As required by Congress, every four years the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reviews its rules about media ownership. The Commission is expected to complete their 2010 review this fall. In the last review, the FCC set aside an all-out ban on newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership — allowing mergers to be made on a case-by-case basis. Media consolidation — whereby a larger share of the mass media is owned by progressively fewer people — is the opposite of diversity. While it’s often said that the public owns the airwaves, real ownership of what is broadcast is in the hands of less and less people. This is, of course, especially concerning when it comes to protecting the public interest in terms of in-depth investigative reporting and quality local news. Add to that the attempts by Congress to end funding for PBS stations (including, now, a “super committee” charged with trimming the federal budget who will weigh cuts to public media) and you have a citizenry who should be rightly concerned about who really owns the airwaves.

If you share these concerns, you’re invited to attend a public forum on Monday, September 26. Free Press and is holding the “Owning Our Airwaves: A Community Dialogue with Media Policymakers” community meeting that evening. You can speak about the state of the media with Rep. Mike Doyle, Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps and others. Event co-sponsors include Carnegie Mellon University, Common Cause, Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, SLB Radio Productions, Inc., Tube City Community Media, Inc., and Urban Green Growth Collaborative.

What: Owning Our Airwaves: A Community Dialogue with Media Policymakers
When: Monday, Sept. 26 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30.
Where: McConomy Auditorium, Carnegie Mellon University, 5000 Forbes Ave., Pittsburgh
Who: Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), FCC Commissioner Michael Copps, Free Press Policy Director Matt Wood, President and CEO of WQED Multimedia Deborah Acklin, Khari Mosley of the Urban Green Growth Collaborative , Chris Ramirez of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Jon Peha, Carnegie Mellon University and Marge Krueger, Communications Workers of America. 

 You can find out more information about this event and R.S.V.P. here.