The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights has written the Federal Communications Commission to ask that it focus on diversity in its quadrennial ownership rule review.
In addition to the congressional mandate for the review, the FCC is also taking a fresh look on orders from the Third Circuit, which remanded its last rule changes back to the commission in July for a better explanation of the diversity efforts as part of its last rule revision in 2007.
In its letter, the conference (a coalition of 200-plus diversity groups) said that the FCC currently has "no meaningful policies to address racial and gender inequities in media ownership" and has "ignored the impact of its media ownership rules on those inequities." It pointed to the Third Circuit remand the court's admonition that the FCC was "punting yet again" on diversity.
"As media consolidation grows, people of color and women become less significant players in the media ecosystem. The Commission must acknowledge that fact and take action to remedy it," the coalition said.
One highly placed communications lawyer said he expected the group would get its wish.
Groups also signing on to the letter included the Communications Workers of America, National Urban League, NAACP, NOW and the UCC Office of Communication.