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FCC Localism Hearing :: Photos!

The FCC Localism Hearing was held in Monterey CA on Wednesday July 21st. Chairman Michael Powell was AWOL. Three Commissioners attended, Democrats Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein and Republican Kathleen Abernathy.
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On Wednesday July 21st, three Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission held a conference on localism and media. One of six such conferences for the year, 600 community members and media activists bumped shoulders in Monterey with Clear Channel reporters and executives with a chance to speak their peace on the issue of local vs. corporate media.

Chairman Michael Powell, probably off playing golf at Pebble Beach or something, cancelled last minute. To no one's surprise. Commissioners Michael Copps (D), Kathleen Abernathy (R), and Jonathon Adelstein (D) attended the hearing.

Speakers included Blanca Zarazua from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Monterey County, who spoke about the importance of quality Spanish language programming in the Monterey Bay. Vice President of Telemundo came out and spoke on that topic as well, although his "this company does great things for the community" may have been overshadowed by the fact that Telemundo's parent company, General Electric, is building nuclear weapons.

The Corporate Swine Award of the evening definitely goes to Joseph W. Heston (Mike Ditka?) – the President and general manager of the Hearst-Argyle Corporation’s KSBW channel. Heston was as right wing propagandist as they get.

But alas, the night was saved by Davey D, the voice of reason. Davey’s from KPFA in Berkeley, but for 11 years worked for KMEL. In October 2001, while a DJ on KMEL, Davey D conducted an interview with Congresswoman Barbara Lee,the only member of US Congress to vote against going to war in Afghanistan. He was promptly fired from the station which had recently been acquired by Clear Channel. Davey spoke about the importance of public airwaves, the manipulative ways of corporate media conglomerates, and gave examples of how young progressive voices are being omitted “with the media’s most powerful tool: Silence.?

The open microphone session began at around 8:30 and went almost until midnight. Of the hundreds that came out and lined up to speak, the majority were advocates of tighter regulation on media ownership rules, and more locally owned independent media sources to create a healthy democratic debate. Organizations like Media Alliance and Media Watch were present, as well as pirate radio DJ’s from Free Radio Santa Cruz and Enemy Combatant Radio. Indymedia was well represented.

Choice Quotes:

“We need some electronic greenspace in the stripmall of corporate media? – Sean McLaughlin, CEO Akaku: Maui Community Television

“You go back to DC and keep making your rules. We’ll continue to break them? – FRSC Programmer Daniel San
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