[Hpn] Fw: Analysts Available on National Association of Broadcasters

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Friday, September 22, 2000

Analysts Available on National Association of Broadcasters

The National Association of Broadcasters, which lobbies for the commercial
broadcast industry, is holding its annual radio convention in San Francisco
through September 23 (see: http://www.nab.org). Nonviolent protests are
planned (see: http://www.mediademocracynow.org). These analysts are
available for interviews:

ROBERT McCHESNEY, rwmcches@uiuc.edu, http://www.robertmcchesney.com
Professor at the Institute of Communications Research at the University of
Illinois and author of "Rich Media, Poor Democracy: Communication Politics
in Dubious Times," McChesney said today: "The NAB is arguably the single
most anti-democratic force in the U.S. today. It opposes campaign finance
reform -- broadcasters have little incentive to cover candidates because it
is in their interest to force them to buy TV time. It is sustained by
massive corporate welfare, such as the giveaway of the digital TV spectrum.
They carpet bomb us with advertising and provide us with broadcast
journalism obsessed with celebrity, trivia and the bottom line. As part of
the massive Telecommunications Act of 1996, the NAB raised the number of
radio stations a company could own from 28 nationally to unlimited. Since
then, over half the U.S. radio stations have been sold and the field is now
dominated by a few giants in non-competitive markets."

JANINE JACKSON, jjackson@fair.org, http://www.fair.org/nab.html
Program director for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, Jackson said today:
"We give corporate broadcasters almost unlimited control over a precious
public resource -- our airwaves. What do they give us in return?
Infomercials, narrow political debate and commercials on kids' TV. A pair
of recent studies found that local public affairs made up less than 0.5
percent of the fare offered by commercial broadcasters. Thirty-five percent
of the stations surveyed had no local news and 25 percent had no local
public affairs. Minority ownership has declined 9 percent in the two years
following the Telecommunications Act."

ANDREA BUFFA, ma@igc.org, http://www.media-alliance.org
Executive director of Media Alliance, Buffa said today: "Four corporations
control 80 percent of the radio market here in San Francisco, and none of
them are based here. That's a situation that's going on all over the
country. The NAB swindled the U.S. taxpayers out of the digital TV spectrum
-- estimated at $70 billion.. We want 50 percent of digital radio for
non-commercial, local programming. The airwaves should be used for the
public interest. Working journalists should be allowed to flourish."

CHARLES LEWIS, hsanderson@publicintegrity.org,
Founder and executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, which
recently released the report "Off The Record: What Media Corporations Don't
Tell You About Their Legislative Agendas," Lewis said today: "From 1996
through 1998, the NAB and five media outlets...cumulatively spent nearly
$11 million to defeat a dozen campaign finance bills mandating free airtime
for political candidates. Since 1996, the 50 largest media companies and
four of their trade associations have spent $111.3 million to lobby
Congress and the executive branch of the government." Lewis can be
contacted via Helen Sanderson.

LOUIS HIKEN, hiken@igc.org, http://www.nlgcdc.org, http://www.freeradio.org
Attorney for Free Radio Berkeley and a member of the National Lawyers Guild
Committee for Democratic Communications, Hiken said today: "The NAB is
using its lobbying might trying to squash low power radio, which would
allow local civic groups to reach their communities."

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (415) 552-5378; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167

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