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FREEDOM OF SPEECH: Media reform movement in USA and New Zealand



Despite widespread public opposition including 750,000 comments received from concerned citizens, on 2 June the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decided to further deregulate the US media environment opening the way for increased cross media ownership. Critics say this will cause the consolidation of media monopolies.

However, the decision by the FCC, a bureaucratic entity once largely ignored by the general public, has brought the issue of media ownership into the limelight and has mobilized political dissent against media monopolies in the US on an unprecedented scale .

Back in Aotearoa, critics say allegations of mismanagement and corruption aimed at public service media organizations such as Maori broadcasting agency, Te Mangai Paho , have been seized upon as part of a wider political agenda to discredit the public service media in favour of corporate media control. This is ironic given the fact that the NZ media is already largely under private control with its highly deregulated market and correspondingly high concentration of ownership. Another potential concern is the government's plans to continue to auction off spectrum rights to the highest bidder . With these issues in mind, academic and NZ media market expert, Bill Rosenberg will give a public lecture on media ownership next week in Auckland as part of a media awareness month promoted by GPJA.

[ US media reform network | Commentary on FCC ]