Why the Next FCC Chairman Will Be So Important, Especially to Journalists


Julius Genachowski will be stepping down as the FCC chairman, but who will replace him?

As of now, no one really knows. All anyone can do is just voice their opinions on who the next chair should be and what issues the person will need to focus on.

For those who do not know, the FCC is the agency that regulates communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. As a very powerful group, especially in the eyes of journalists, the FCC commissioners are hand picked by the president.

President Obama is expected to pick who he feels is best for the position pretty soon, but for now the concerns about what the FCC should work on is still voiced in the journalism industry. Journalists want a FCC chief who will end any further media consolidation, make political ads more transparent, and increase diversity of media ownership and coverage.

Even though the FCC may not really care about journalism, the journalism community still cares about who will potentially run the FCC.

Why? To detail more of what I mentioned previously. The next chair will decide if big media owners will be able to get their hands on both newspapers and TV or radio stations, meaning that someone like Rupert Murdoch can own a few newspapers or radio stations.

A new FCC chair will have the influence to promote and ensure diversity in the industry.

A new FCC chair will have the power to make political ads more transparent for TV and online.

So whether the president knows it or not, he has a big decision to make…


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