Media Reform Solutions

  1. Return ownership and control of the electromagnetic spectrum to the public. We urge the public to reclaim the airwaves. The privatization of the broadcast airwaves, one of our most important taxpayer assets, has caused serious deformations of our politics and culture. End the privatization of broadcast frequencies and reserve them for the creation of new not-for-profit community broadcasters around the country and for broadband and wifi networks owned and operated by cities, counties and towns which want to deliver this vital tool to their people at reasonable cost.

  2. Enact tough new anti-trust laws for the media, carve up the big media conglomerates, and follow up with vigorous anti-trust enforcement.

  3. End commercial broadcasters' free licensed use of the public airwaves. Require market-priced leasing of any commercial use of the electromagnetic spectrum. Revenues derived from these license fees should be used to fund the operation of community media. Tax electronic advertising to fund democratic media outlets.

  4. Reinstate and strengthen the Fairness Doctrine, to require that holders of broadcast licenses present controversial issues of public importance in an equitable and balanced manner.

  5. Establish substantial public interest obligations for broadcasters and hold them accountable, and revoke licenses from outlets that fail to satisfy these obligations.

  6. Support Public, Educational and Governmental (PEG) Access Television to ensure that citizens and community organizations have the opportunity to create and present their own programming on cable television.

  7. Expand the role of community radio, by expanding the licensing of new non-commercial low power FM radio stations.

  8. Promote greater opportunity for women and minority ownership of media outlets.

  9. We need to promote the continuing and evolving potential of the Internet to build communities, educate, inform, and promote free speech and artistic expression. A. Provide broadband Internet access for all residents of this country, so that access to information is a right, not a commodity.

     B. Call for the Federal Communications Commission to consistently classify all Internet service providers, regardless of the type of service (cable, dial-up, satellite, etc.), as telecommunications services.
    

C. Call for the specific classification of all Internet service providers as common carriers as used in Title II of the Communications Act.

D. Support all efforts to achieve net neutrality. Internet users should be able to access any lawful web content they choose and use any applications they choose, without restrictions or limitations imposed by their Internet service provider or government, except for restrictions that exist to prevent spam e-mail, viruses, and similar content that will harm the providerís network or internet access devices.

  1. Ensure free and equal airtime for all ballot-qualified political candidates and parties on radio and television networks and stations.

  2. Provide public funding for independent nonprofit broadcasters' to ensure high-quality news and cultural programming with the widest possible range of viewpoints.

  3. Prohibit commercial advertising targeted to children less than 12 years old, as well as advertising in public places such as schools, parks, and government buildings.

  4. Oppose censorship in the arts, media, press and on the Internet.

  5. Reform the Federal Communications Commission so that it is responsive and accountable to the public at large, not just to lobbyists and commercial interests.

  6. Repeal the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The Act lengthened license renewals to 8 years for both radio and TV, and eliminated the "comparative renewal". For radio, eliminated all national caps on the number of radio stations in which one party could have an interest and increased to 8 stations the number one party could own in the largest radio markets. For television, raised national ownership caps to having stations that reached no more than 35% of the national audience, with no limits on the number of stations that could be owned as long as their reach was under that cap.

  7. Reduce mailing costs for non-profit and independent magazines and journals, and eliminate them for those that receive less than 20% of their revenues from advertising.

  8. Promote policies to expand investigative reporting on federal, state and local issues.

  9. Promote policies to encourage the people of the United States to watch less television, and instead to spend time with their families, friends and neighbors, and to engage in myriad other constructive, artistic or healthful pursuits.

  10. Create a publicly-controlled "Audience Network" empowered to take airtime from commercial television and radio stations, to broadcast a variety of non-commercial cultural, political, entertainment, scientific or other high-quality programs.