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Clyburn Continues to Call for Diversity Action

FCC commissioner says communications industry has an obligation to promote independent and diverse programming

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn continues her push for more diversity in the communications industry.

During the National Urban League Annual Convention on July 30, Clyburn said more steps are needed to ensure that minorities and other underserved populations have access to training and support, she said. The country has made strides in improving diversity on the jobs front, but more needs to be done.

The communications industry can help provide a solution, she said. “For me … [the solution] is providing opportunities through communications,” she said.

Despite the commission’s support for the creation of large communications companies through consolidation — referring to the AT&T and DirecTV merger — “we still have an obligation to look out for small businesses and ensure that we promote independent and diverse television and radio programming,” she said. “I will never abandon those goals, and I have called for the FCC to initiate proceedings to identify these opportunities.”

Following approval of the July 24 merger, Clyburn called on her fellow Democratic appointee FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to review the agency’s program access rules and look into the potential barriers to independent and diverse programming.

“I call on the chairman to initiate a proceeding to take a fresh look at our carriage rules and examine the challenges and barriers to independent and diverse programming,” she said.