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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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May 15, 2008 2:42 PM

Media consolidation on the Senate floor

Posted by Ryan Blethen

A "resolution of disapproval" that would stop new media cross-ownership rules from going into effect could be debated on in the Senate tonight. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. introduced the resolution earlier this year and it was passed by the Commerce Committee last month.

The resolution simple piece of legislation that would block the Federal Communications Commission's cross-ownership rule, which was adopted by the regulatory agency in December. The rule allows a company to own a newspaper and broadcast outlet in the same market and applied only to the top 20 media markets.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin tried to present his rule change as a compromise. It was not. The loophole filled rule would allow for all combinations of cross-ownership in all markets.

President Bush has said he will veto any legislation that junks the FCC's rule. This is an issue that has a lot of bi-partisan support and will hopefully sail through the Senate and the House with enough votes to override a veto.

I will be keeping tabs on the debate and post updates here.

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