The Communications Workers of America and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists called on the FCC to review public comments made to Martin’s proposed revisions to the newspaper-broadcast ownership rule.
In a filing to the FCC, the unions stressed that ensuring a diverse media is too important to rush to judgment in crafting changes in existing media ownership limits. They called for publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register with a 90-day comment period, as well as an open process to resolve issues of localism and women’s and minority ownership of broadcast media.
The guidelines proposed for consideration of whether to permit a newspaper and either a TV or a radio station to be owned by one entity in a market are too broad and need additional requirements to ensure that diversity and editorial independence are maintained, AFTRA and CWA said.
For example, one of these criteria to allow the ban to be relaxed, whether each affected media outlet in the combination will exercise its own independent news judgment, can only be achieved if any merged newspaper-broadcast operation in the same market maintains separate newsroom and editorial staff, the unions said.