Newspaper Guild President to FCC: Media Consolidation Impairs Journalism, Democracy

By: E&P Staff

Newspaper Guild-CWA President Bernard Lunzer, scheduled to speak Tuesday afternoon in Tampa, Fla., at a Federal Communications Commission workshop on broadcast-newspaper cross-ownership, set out to deliver the message that media consolidation is the enemy of quality journalism — and, in effect, democracy.

?Most consolidations are being done for efficiencies and that means less content, fewer journalists and less diversity in both content and staff,? read Lunzer?s prepared remarks during the workshop, part of the FCC?s quadrennial review of broadcast ownership rules.

?Experimenting with mixtures of media, such as those being discussed today, is important. But if all the FCC does is lift the cross-ownership ban entirely, it will have done nothing to preserve or promote quality information. In fact, it will speed up the demise of journalism while preserving a cash flow for some,? his remarks add.

Lunzer adds that time is of the essence: ?We need to act within the next two years if we want quality journalism to be around mid-century. It?s no longer hyperbole — we?re in the meltdown phase, but working together we can find answers. I know that continued consolidation is not the answer.?

Check out his full prepared remarks, here.

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