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Friday, December 10, 2004

Barred by TV networks, church goes after FCC licenses.

More on this story next week, but here's a quick update and a few links in the meantime: The United Church of Christ — which tried to air its 30-second Bouncers ad on CBS and NBC only to be turned down because the ad was "too controversial" and appeared (to CBS) to take a side on the issue of same-sex marriage — has struck back. Charging that the corporations that own CBS and NBC have failed to serve the public interest by arbitrarily limiting the range of ideas broadcast on the public's airwaves, a United Church of Christ advocacy organization on Wednesday announced that it is formally challenging the renewal of FCC licenses for two stations in Miami. One of the stations is owned by Viacom, which also owns CBS; the other station is owned by General Electric, which owns NBC. (But why Miami? With the FCC, all politics is local.)

This is actually a more complex story than I can easily summarize now, and it will be interesting to see what the news media pick up from this development. Here's where you can learn more: The UCC's advocacy organization, OC Inc, has set up a Web site about this campaign called Accessible Airwaves. They are asking for people to submit their own petitions to the FCC about the networks' behavior, and have set up easy-to-use forms for you. Please also consider making a financial contribution to this effort. (More than $8,000 has been raised toward the cost of this legal challenge in the first day of the campaign.)

PastorDan at Daily Kos has a cogent explanation; Frederick Clarkson adds some context; Chris Bowers at MyDD has been cheering (here and here); and Chuck Currie describes how you can get involved.

Copyright © 2004 by Philocrites | Posted 10 December 2004 at 5:46 PM

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December 10, 2004 08:12 PM | Permalink for this comment

Thanks for the update on this. It's an important issue, even to those of us non-church members, because it speaks to the objectivity of all the information we get over the airwaves.


December 10, 2004 10:32 PM | Permalink for this comment

Bob Smietana heard J. Bennett Guess, editor of the UCC's newspaper, on Wisconsin Public Radio. He has a fine report.


May 13, 2006 08:15 AM | Permalink for this comment

The company that handled the UCC ad campaign's blog relations has a case study up from early 2005 about how they launched the Accessible Airwaves site in 48 hours. IDI Issue Dynamics Inc. also developed the church's blog ads in the spring of 2005.

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