Local watchdogs attracted to localism session


A heaping healthy portion of the watchdog community is located in Washington DC, just like the FCC, and they are planning to have a presence at FCC headquarters Wednesday 10/31/07 when the FCC combines its October Open Meeting with its final localism forum. The FCC says the session will feature a presentation from the Media Bureau, "summarizing the record the Commission has received on the topic of localism." There will also be a panel, including several of the protesting watchdogs.

The participants include Marcellus Alexander, NAB/NABEF; Mark Cooper, Consumer Federation of America; Bob Edwards, AFTRA/XM Satellite Radio (formerly with NPR); Kim Gandy, President, National Organization for Women; Jim Goodmon, Capital Broadcasting; Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Jesse Jackson Sr., Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Andrew Jay Schwartzman, Media Access Project; Christopher Sterling, George Washington University; and S. Derek Turner, Free Press. The moderator will be Louis Sigalos, Chief of the Consumer Affairs and Outreach Division, Consumer Governmental Affairs Bureau, FCC. The panel session will be followed by an opportunity for public comment.

The watchdogs said they will attempt to rally the public outside FCC HQ. They complained that the latest session allowed little time and is not spacious enough to allow the public to properly participate. Signing onto the release announcing plans to rally were Jackson; Gandy; Brent Wilkes of  League of United Latin America Citizens; Josh Silver of Free Press; Gene Kimmelman of Consumers Union; Schwartzman; Bob Edgar of Common Cause; Cheryl Leanza of United Church of Christ; and Amina Fazullah of U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

Meanwhile, across the mall, the House Commerce Committee will be looking into the DTV transition again. The panel there is supposed to be made up of industry stakeholders. So far there has been no word as to who exactly will testify.