The FCC is Seeking to Enact Policies that Harm Women and Minorities

The FCC is the national telecommunications regulator in the United States. When Congress created the agency in 1934, it was given broad regulatory powers to structure communications markets.

For decades, the agency used anti-monopoly principles to structure communications markets to serve the public interest. Eventually in the 1960s, the agency took its policies a step further to ensure that the broadcast spectrum would be distributed equitably among different genders and races.

Unfortunately, since the 1980s, the FCC has been rolling back their New Deal/Great Society policies and has sought to implement pro-monopoly rules that have continued to erode and stymie female and minority broadcast ownership.

In my latest article, published in Common Dreams, my co-author and I argue that the new Biden administration should use its appointments to the FCC and other means of influence to ensure that the FCC returns to its original mission of promoting true diversity and social justice.

Below is the introduction to the article:

Over the last 17 years, the Federal Communications Commission has abandoned its Civil Rights Era stance and policies on female and minority broadcast ownership. As a consequence of its actions, the agency is handing control of media ownership outlets such as radio and television broadcasting stations to multimillion-dollar companies.

Last week, the FCC sought the Supreme Court’s endorsement to radically restructure America’s broadcast communication ownership, a move sure to be detrimental to women and minorities. The agency based its justifications on a flawed analysis and a distorted view of its historical mission. The Supreme Court should reject the agency’s deregulatory attempts, and the incoming Biden administration should develop a policy to improve economic equity and elevate women and minority ownership in the broadcasting industry.

The FCC is the national telecommunications regulator. Congress created the agency during the New Deal in 1934 and endowed it with broad structural powers to manage the entire communications sector, including the radio, telegraph, and television industries, and eventually the satellite, cable, and internet industries. With its broad structural authority, the agency is supposed to ensure that broadcasters serve the public interest. However, an agency without policies to ensure equity in ownership is not acting in the public interest.

Image Credit: Wikipedia