Photo: Hispanic media
Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a report detailing ownership of broadcast media outlets by women and people of color. The report shows that broadcast ownership by women and people of color continues to remain excruciatingly low.
At the same time, multiple press outlets revealed that FCC Chairman Genachowski has circulated a draft order to other FCC commissioners that would relax key media ownership rules, further reducing opportunities for diverse ownership.
According to this data, the number of Latino-owned media outlets is dismal, especially in light of the fact that Latinos make up over 16% of the U.S. population. In 2011, Latinos only owned 39 out of 1,348 full power commercial television stations, a mere 2.9 percent. Latinos owned only 2.7 percent of FM radio outlets.
Latinos didn’t fare much better in AM radio, once thought to be a key entry point for people of color, owning only 172 AM radio stations out of 3,830, or 4.5 percent. Ownership by women, African Americans, Asian Americans, and Native Indians was similarly bleak.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) has long contended that elimination or relaxation of media ownership rules would make it even more difficult for diverse voices to participate in media. Further, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals has twice ordered the FCC to collect and analyze data on the impact of any rule changes on ownership by women and people of color prior to changing the media ownership rules.
In March of this year, NHMC filed comments with the Center for Media Justice and the Center for Rural Strategies, advocating for the FCC to tighten media ownership rules to create more opportunities for diverse ownership.
Earlier this year NHMC released an exposé into the hate speech that pervades many Clear Channel stations, and how the company has leveraged its vast media empire to silence intense public outcry against some of its more infamous pundits.