Former FCC Commissioner and veteran media consolidation critic Michael Copps is getting a new platform to take aim at media concentration.
Common Cause said Monday that Copps, who joined its governing board last March, would spearhead a national Media and Democracy Reform Initiative "spotlighting and countering the growing political and economic power of the communications industry."
At a Minority Media and Telecommunications Council tribute to Copps at NCTA headquarters earlier this year, Copps vowed to continue to fight for the public interest and against consolidation, including going on the road if need be to press his points.
Copps will temporarily step away from the governing board.
The initiative will leverage 35 state chapters and funding from "several foundations" to spotlight media reform. "Without media that dig for facts, report real news, and reflect the diversity of our nation, self-government cannot endure," said Copps in a statement.
Common Cause is particularly concerned about the impact of media concentration on political speech and the impact of money on elections.
"Working in Washington and through our network of state chapters, Common Cause's initiative aims to restore and expand diversity, open access, transparency and public control in both traditional and new media," said Common Cause president Bob Edgar. "And in Michael Copps, we've found the perfect person to guide it."