Media Action Center is a group of of concerned residents throughout the U.S. led by former Emmy-winning broadcaster turned media reformer Sue Wilson. We have successfully influenced policy at the Federal Communications Commission and at local TV and Radio stations throughout the country for more than a decade to ensure We the People are truly served by the publicly owned airwaves. (See the archive of our work under "older posts.") We successfully forced Entercom to give up its $13.5 million license to KDND for killing a woman in a radio water drinking stunt. We have a long-running action to label Alex Jones' radio show as the fiction it is, which has taken Jones' program off dozens of radio stations nationwide. We educated the Supreme Court in FCC v Prometheus Radio on critical information to #SaveLocalNews.

Please see MAC's 2018 Comment to the FCC (below) to learn why these actions are crucial to Democracy. Find full journalistic coverage of the Supreme Court case and our Amicus brief, Sinclair Broadcasting's shell game, Alex Jones, the Strange v Entercom trial and other public interest media issues at For background on how we arrived in this era of disinformation and what to do about it, see Wilson's 2009 documentary Broadcast Blues.

MAC Comment to FCC re Incentivizing Local Journalism

 We salute the Federal Communications Commission for incentivizing local broadcast production. While newspapers are shuttering across the nation, radio is fighting to keep the AM dial alive while local TV is losing audience. How do we serve the increasing need for reliable local information while at the same time support broadcast models for viability? 

 First, let’s agree that locally produced news is paramount to the health and safety of our communities. If a train derails and spills anhydrous ammonia which is a health threat to us all, where can we turn if we do not have local reporters ferreting out the critical information we need in time of such an emergency? Somebody needs to spearhead that response, and broadcasters are not only the best equipped, but also the ones licensed to serve in such a situation. 

 All broadcasters subject to these proposed rules already own antennas and transmitters (the most expensive aspect of broadcasting) and employ sound engineers. So let’s set those costs aside and talk about the cost of building production studios.

 In earlier years, a Television studio was extremely expensive due to the high cost of equipment. One studio camera cost around $150,000; three are generally used for a live studio production. Today, a broadcast quality camera can be purchased for under $5,000. An entire professional TV studio can be equipped for way less than the cost of one old camera. In fact, even iPhones can serve to shoot, edit, create graphics and edit sound, and transmit live. There is no longer any need for the million dollar live trucks we TV producers cherished in days past.

 Radio studios are extremely cost effective to build.  The Project Censored Radio Show, syndicated in 50 radio markets nationwide, operates with just a $2,000 studio system. Jim Guidi, licensee of KVGC built out a state of the art studio of the University of the Pacific for $10,000.  

 The real cost of producing local news and programming is the cost of the professionals who make a show happen.  

... continued at link

 Find full comment here for download: