Activists want the FCC on the beat against internet, radio and cable hate speech


Saying that modern media platforms are proving conducive to hate speech, and that in particular, ownership consolidation has turned hate into a successful business model on radio and on cable television, a coalition of interest groups want the FCC to monitor this kind of content.

Comments were filed under the name National Hispanic Media Coalition, comprised of over 30 groups.
The Coalition stated, “Despite that new and emerging technologies have enabled people to communicate and access information more than ever, many in this country still lack sources for accurate, unbiased news and information. The current media landscape is ridden with false, misleading, divisive and dehumanizing language, some of which actually rises to the level of incitement to violence.”

It is particularly concerned about the implications of hate speech on children, and would like the FCC to open an inquiry into it.

Speaking of the internet, the Coalition wrote, “The Internet gives the illusion that news sources have increased, but in fact there are fewer journalists employed now than before. Moreover, on the Internet, speakers can hide in the cloak of anonymity, emboldened to say things that they may not say in the public eye. Even worse, sometimes anonymous Internet speakers hold their information out as news, leaving the public with the difficult job of discerning fact from fiction.”

On the broadcast/cable front, it said, “Studies show that media consolidation diminishes ownership opportunities for people of color and leads to less diversity of voices; this yields a media in which people of color are under and misrepresented. As traditional media have become less diverse and less competitive, they have also grown less responsible and less responsive to the communities that they are supposed to serve. In this same atmosphere hate speech thrives, as hate has developed as a profit-model for syndicated radio and cable television programs masquerading as ‘news.’”

In conclusion, it wrote that the Coalitoin “…respectfully requests that the FCC grant NHMC’s Petition, and inquire into the extent and effects of hate speech in media, and explore possible non-regulatory ways to counteract its negative impacts.”

Here are the groups that signed on to the filing.

* The Benton Foundation

* Center for Media Justice

* Center for Rural Strategies

* Center on Latino& Latina Rights& Equality, City U. of NY School of Law

* Common Cause

* Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

* Free Press

* Hispanic/Latinos Anti-Defamation Coalition, SF

* Industry Ears

* Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies

* La Asamblea de Derechos Civiles

* League of Rural Voters

* League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)

* Main Street Project

* Media Action Grassroots Network

* Media Alliance

* Media Justice League

* Media Literacy Project

* Media Mobilizing Project (MMP)

* Mountain Area Information ANetwork

* National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture

* National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP)

* Nosotros

* Peoples Production House

* The Praxis Project

* Prometheus Radio Project

* Rainbow PUSH Coalition

* Reclaim the Media

* Transmission Project

* United Church of Christ, Office of Communication, Inc. (UCC)

* United States Hispanic Leadership Institute