Media Concentration

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Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions (PDF) was prepared in June 2007 by the now-dissolved American Library Association, Intellectual Freedom Committee Subcommittee on the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries.

In June of 2003, when the Federal Communications Commission decided to relax a variety of media ownership regulations, many concerns were raised about media concentration, especially in those wanting to uphold the principles of diversity and localism.

At the 2003 Annual Conference, ALA Council adopted " New FCC Rules and Media Concentration," opposing rules changes related to media ownership caps and cross-ownership rules that would encourage further media concentration.

Following that Annual Conference, the IFC established the FCC Rules and Media Ownership Subcommittee. Subsequently, its name was changed to Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries. It was charged to examine the impact of these mergers on intellectual freedom, access to information, and diversity of opinion in local communities, and to review how libraries could counter the effects of media consolidation by identifying innovative ways that libraries provide materials and information presenting all points of view.

To fulfill its charge, the subcommittee developed "Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions." This guideline is designed to provide libraries, library consortia, and library networks with a centralized list of strategies and actions to help them fulfill one of their key responsibilities: to provide access to a diverse collection of resources and services. Special attention has been given to the acquisition of and access to small, independent, and alternative sources—including locally produced ones—in all formats: print, AV media, and electronic.

Having completed its charge, the Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries Subcommittee was dissolved at the 2007 ALA Annual Conference.


New FCC Rules and Media Concentration
Adopted by the ALA Council on June 25, 2003.

RESOLVED, that the American Library Association (ALA) deplores the action of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of June 2, 2003, and voices in the strongest possible terms opposition to these changes in the media ownership rules that encourage further concentration of the media, and be it further

RESOLVED, that ALA supports Congressional legislation to void the FCC's regulatory action, including S.1046, the "Preservation of Localism, Program Diversity, and Competition in Television Broadcast Act of 2003,"and supports Congressional efforts to reduce media concentration in the United States.

Following Annual Conference, the IFC established a subcommittee: the FCC Rules and Media Ownership Subcommittee. Subsequently its name was changed to Impact of Media Concentration on Libraries. Its new charge is: To examine the impact of these mergers on intellectual freedom, access to information, and diversity of opinion in local communities, and to review how libraries can counter the effects of media consolidation by identifying innovative ways that libraries provide materials and information presenting all points of view.


   

ALA Sources on Media Concentration

Fostering Media Diversity in Libraries: Strategies and Actions (PDF; 2007)

Libraries and FCC Rules related to Media Concentration and Localism

FCC Media Concentration and Its Impact on Diversity and Access to Local Information Resources

Other Sources on Media Concentration

Testimony of Dr. Mark Cooper on Media Concentration (October 2003)