Senate Committee Votes To Overturn FCC Ruling on Media Ownership
With bipartisan support, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee voted to send a bill to the floor that would overturn the Federal Communication Commission's recent decision to repeal media ownership rules and grant large corporations greater control of the media. "The people won today - this is a huge blow to media conglomerates," Gene Kimmelman, director of advocacy and public policy for Consumer's Union, a group that is part of a broad coalition working against the FCC's proposed changes, told TomPaine.com.
Sponsored by Sens. Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Ernest Hollings (D-SC), the bill approved by the Senate Committee would keep newspapers from owning television and radio stations in the same city, stop broadcast networks from buying more stations at local and national levels and force radio companies to give up some of their stations, according to the Washington Post.
The FCC ruling would allow changes in the media ownership cap to allow a single company to own TV stations that reach 45 percent of households in the US; and would rewrite two existing "cross-ownership" rules to lift current restrictions that keep companies from owning a newspaper and a radio or TV station in the same market. The FCC's decision was strongly opposed by the two Democratic commissioners - Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein - and met with widespread public opposition. FCC Chair Michael Powell championed the deregulation, which was approved in a 3-2 party line vote.
The legislation will likely face an uphill battle in the full Senate and in the House. Similar legislation currently moving through the House may be prevented from going to the floor by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Appropriations Committee Chair Bill Young (R-FL), who support the FCC's ruling, according to the Post.
12/12/2013 Feminist Majority Celebrates Introduction of Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) - WASHINGTON -- Feminist Majority today celebrates and applauds Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) for introducing the critically-needed paid family medical leave legislation.
The Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) will allow workers to take paid time off to address a serious illness of their own, a spouse, parent or child or to care for a new baby or adopted child. . . .
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .