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Daily Democracy

Ryan Blethen discusses the press, media and democracy. Daily Democracy is part of the Democracy Papers, a series of articles, essays and editorial opinion examining threats to our freedoms of speech and the press.

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October 26, 2007 4:52 PM

The FCC and News Corporation

Posted by Ryan Blethen

Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps is pressuring Chairman Kevin Martin to scrutinize News Corporation's purchase of Dow Jones. In a letter to Martin, Copps points to the incredible influence Rupert Murdoch's company will have on New York City and the nation.

If approved, this transaction would leave News Corp. in control of a Big Four broadcast network and two of the area's most popular television stations and two of its most popular newspapers.

Both aspects of this transaction are unprecedented in the history of the FCC and, indeed, of the United States.

The FCC should consider whether a national cross-ownership ban should be slapped on News Corporation, and any other company that wants to over extend its reach. In addition to the many outlets Copps listed above, Murdoch is about to launch a nationwide financial network on cable.

It is frightening that one man can be allowed that much control in a democracy. America will suffer if the FCC sights out of date precedent and stands aside as Murdoch takes control of Dow Jones, and its prize possession, the Wall Street Journal.

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