FCC makes five ownership studies available


Five research studies that the FCC commissioned to inform its members and staff for the quadrennial review of its media ownership rules are now available for public review. However, you’ll need to actually visit FCC headquarters at The Portals to look at the data.

“A number of the authors of the media ownership studies created data sets using proprietary information licensed to the author or the Commission.  Beginning today [6/15], the data sets, as well as related materials necessary to replicate the studies’ analyses, including market data provided to the authors of the studies as ‘Government Furnished Information,’ will be made available for review and inspection by interested parties consistent with procedures contained in the Protective Order [issued by the FCC’s Media Bureau]. Prior to reviewing the proprietary data sets, parties are required to sign and submit the Declaration, which was released as part of the Protective Order.  Parties also may be able to obtain licenses from licensors of the underlying proprietary data to evaluate the results of the studies and/or to develop other studies that will contribute to the record in this proceeding,” said the FCC announcement.

And, it’s not as simple as just showing up and browsing through the data.

“For many of the studies, the data sets that the Commission will make available are only readable by, and require the user to be familiar with, specific statistical software programs (namely, Gauss, R, and Stata).  The Commission has a limited number of on-site computing resources available for use by members of the public.  Therefore we recommend that interested parties call in advance to schedule use of the Commission’s facilities.  Persons with a scheduled appointment will be given priority over walk-in users,” the Commission said.

Here are the five newly-released media ownership studies, and their respective authors:

Media Ownership Study 3, How the Ownership Structure of Media Markets affects Civic Engagement and Political Knowledge, 2006-2008, by Lynn Vavreck, Simon Jackman, and Jeffrey B. Lewis

Media Ownership Study 5, Station Ownership and the Provision and Consumption of Radio News, by Joel Waldfogel

Media Ownership Study 6, Less of the Same: The Lack of Local News on the Internet, by Matthew Hindman

Media Ownership Study 7, Radio Station Ownership Structure and the Provision of Programming to Minority Audiences: Evidence from 2005-2009, by Joel Waldfogel

Media Ownership Study 9, A Theoretical Analysis of the Impact of Local Market Structure on the Range of Viewpoints Supplied, by Isabelle Brocas, Juan D. Carrillo, and Simon Wilkie