Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

LIVE from the SCL: Concerned citizens

Commissioners Copps and Adelstein are now taking notes and listening to input from concerned citizens. (Comments are allowed on a first come, first served basis and limited to 2 minutes per speaker).

(Broadband users, watch the live stream here).

Here's a summary of the speakers and the points they made:
  • Todd Boyle: Antiwar activists ran up against a brick wall in 2003 because the traditional media was largely uninterested in viewpoints contrary to the Bush administration
  • Andrew Skotdal: Locally owned broadcast outlets are disappearing, even though they produce programming that the American people want.
  • Emily Horswill: Thanks to the Reagan administration in the 1980s, alternative voices became scarcer and harder to find.
  • Kathy Schrier: A multitude of viewpoints are needed for a free society. Good journalism and good education go hand in hand.
  • Bill Wippel: Keep the rules against broadcast cross ownership in place. It is a shame that media conglomerates are doing little to serve the public interest.
  • Leigh Robartes: Lower power and community FM stations could be shafted under new rules proposed by conglomerates such as Clear Channel.
  • Dennis Lane: Broadcasting is of a higher quality when it is produced locally.
  • Sylvia Haven: Wars like the preemptive invasion of Iraq could have been avoided if the traditional media had not shirked its duty to practice responsible journalism in the months preceding March 2003.
  • Suzette West (Representing Legend Heart Records): Independent music labels are discriminated against because the corporate radio business demands an artist affiliate with an RIAA member before their music can be played on the public airwaves. This barrier must be taken down.
  • Jeff Hoyt: Independent community such as Voice of Vashon (an internet radio operation) have long struggled to gain access to the public airwaves.
  • Rebecca Campbell: Spoke satirically as "Maximilian Bucks" in support of corporate media
  • Monica Hill: Jurassic sized monopolies dominate our politics and culture. They cannot be allowed to get even bigger. More alternative media is needed.
  • Bill Schrier (Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle): Public broadcasting and municipal government programming is valuable and useful. But it struggles for attention in an advertising-saturated environment.
  • Liz Brown (Pacific NW Newspapers Guild): Competition is healthy. Media centralization and concentration is a threat to competition.
  • Bryan Johnson, activist: More rules are needed to restrict media ownership. The evidence is in and media consolidation is clearly harmful.
We are in the last half hour of the hearing now.

More notes: Several individuals from local media outlets were in attendance. Besides the Seattle Times and KBCS, 710 KIRO sent a reporter and Fisher Communications (KOMO's owner) was represented by an executive. Other news organizations were notably absent.

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