MMTC Pushes FCC to Do More on Diversity

The Multicultural Media, Telecom & Internet Council has signaled that while the FCC has taken some baby steps toward greater diversity in media, it needs to pull on some seven-league boots.

The FCC last week released its triennial report to Congress on promoting entry into the communications business by entrepreneurs and small businesses, counting the ways it has done just that, including trumpeting the Open Internet order.

In response, MMTC gave the FCC credit for its joint sales agreement tightening and reforming its designated entity rules for spectrum auctions, both of which MMTC had championed.

But the FCC was cited more for honoring diversity initiatives in the breach, rather than the observance.

"The Commission has failed to conduct the Adarand studies [which MMTC also pushed for] necessary to collect data to support the implementation of race-conscious policies to advance diversity, as required by the 1995 Supreme Court case," MMTC says, "has allowed equal employment opportunity enforcement to diminish to nearly zero; has not extended its diversity procurement rule to all technologies [something it failed to do in the quadrennial Media Ownership rule review despite MMTC's urging]; and has released its Section 257 triennial diversity report, which was due in 2012, nearly four years late."

“The Digital Age is a pivotal juncture in our nation’s history, and it is imperative that the FCC do more to include opportunities for millions of minorities and women to become an integral part of its future," said MMTC president Kim Keenan.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.