Two months after Imus, a Free Press study came out today showing how big media organization are stripping communities of color and women of radio that reflects their culture, their values, and their music. In addition, a lack of ownership of local radio stations by people of color and women has led to a hostile radio environment that is increasingly anti-woman, anti-diversity, and anti-immigrant, according to speakers on an telephone conference including Gloria Steinem of GreenStone Media, Mark Lloyd, chair of Media and Communications Task Force, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, and S. Derek Turner, a research director at Free Press. In 1996, Congress passed a Telecommunications Act that allowed big media companies to "obliterate" small radio-owners,Turner said, by supporting economies of scale. This describes the expansion of business while diminishing its related costs. Apparently, centralizing local radio ownership in the hands of a few is better for big business. But not for communities. FreePress.net producing the study, reported:
Reacting to a new Free Press study on radio ownership released today, national women’s rights and civil rights leaders joined two Federal Communications Commissioners in condemning the FCC for its failure to address the low number of female and minority media owners. "We found that women and people of color control just one-eighth of the country’s full-power radio stations despite comprising two-thirds of the population," said S. Derek Turner, research director of Free Press and author of Off the Dial: How Media Consolidation Diminishes Diversity on the Radio. "These results are stark and a cause for alarm. The FCC should be aware of the consequences before enacting any policies that could further media concentration." The full report can be downloaded here. As the FCC considers eliminating longstanding media ownership limits, Off the Dial exposes how these changes could hasten the disappearance of the few female- and minority-controlled stations on the radio. On a national teleconference today, FCC Commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps blasted the agency’s pro-consolidation policies for pushing out female and minority owners. "This study presents fresh and challenging evidence about the lack of female and minority ownership in the radio industry," Commissioner Copps said. "My fervent hope is that we can harness the shame of our failures and recommit ourselves to creating a media that reflects the diversity of the American people."