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Media Justice: Parker Lecture, Net Neutrality, Prison Phone...
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Media Justice: Parker Lecture, Net Neutrality, Prison Phone and more!

It's been a busy time at OC Inc., check out what we've been up to...

Table of Contents

2014 Everett C. Parker Lecture
Communities of Faith Need Strong Need Neutrality - Webinar Nov. 24th
Expanding Prison Phone Rate Reform
The 2014 Media Violence Fast / The 2015 National Day of Unplugging
Fox News Violates FCC Rules
Media Ownership Diversity

The 32nd Everett C. Parker Lecture Was a Great Success!

The 32nd annual Everett C. Parker Lecture was held on October 7th at the Newseum in Washington DC and was a great success. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler gave this year's keynote address.  He delivered a passionate argument for expanding broadband access to all Americans, pledged to improve media ownership diversity , and the importance of  an open internet. Makani Themba, executive director of The Praxis Project, received the Everett C. Parker Award in recognition of her many years of leadership and support for promoting the public interest in telecommunications and the media.  California Public Utilities Commissioner Catherine J.K. Sandoval received the Donald H. McGannon Award for her contributions in advancing the roles of women and persons of color in the media. Following this year's Parker Lecture were two panel  discussions. The first was a conversation on religion and the news media, featuring Rev. Bennett Guess and Cheryl Leanza, followed by an interview of Richard Prince about the treatment of people of color  in the news media.

Check out full archived video of the event, event photos, or read a full rundown of this year's Parker Lecture.

Communities of Faith Need Net Neutrality

It's been an exciting several months in the campaign for strong net neutrality protections. After the FCC's open internet rules were struck down in court this past January, the FCC began the process of forming a new set of rules. In response to a FCC proposal that would allow internet service providers to create fast lanes and slow lanes online, the public spoke out with a record shattering 3.9 million comments. Many of these comments were in support of "Title II", a legal basis that would assure the FCC’s rules would preserve an open internet. UCC OC Inc. supports Title II, and were pleased to collaborate with Fourteen Major Faith Organizations to Support Full Net Neutrality, and to see our activism covered in the Huffington Post.

OC Inc.'s Director Cheryl Leanza will be co-moderating a free webinar as part of a new interfaith net neutrality coalition, Faithful Internet. The webinar will take place on Nov. 24th at 3pm EST. Please RSVP here!

The FCC Works to Expand Prison Phone Rate Reform

Last year UCC OC Inc. and our partners scored a victory in lowering the rates that inmates are charged to communicate with their loved ones via long distance phone calls. This year we, and the FCC, look to expand those protections to local phone calls as well. Though the process is just begenning we are optimistic that the FCC will continue to expand protections against these predatory practices by prisons and phone companies. Read a letter signed by OC Inc. and other organizations applauding the FCC's efforts, or learn why this issue matters from a moral perspective.

The 2014 Media Violence Fast & The 2015 National Day of Unplugging

This past September we held our 2014 Media Violence Fast to honor the International Day of Prayers for Peace. The Media Violence Fast helped renew our commitment to peace and to be more cognizant of the violent images that are pervasive in our modern media. Sign up for next year's fast.

Coming up this spring we will encourage participation in the 2015 National Day of Unplugging. The National Day of Unplugging's genesis is within the Jewish community and its goal is to take a moment to disconnect from our digital lives and recognize the importance being more connected to the world around us. This event will be held on Match 6th and you can check out nationaldayofunplugging.com for an early peak at what's to come.

Fox News Violates FCC Rules for 11 years: New Jersey Residents Suffer

In 2001, Fox Television Stations purchased WWOR TV station in Secaucus, NJ even though it violated the FCC rule which prohibits a single company from owning a TV station and newspaper in the same market. The FCC permitted the purchase only on the condition that, within two years, Fox promised to come into compliance by selling one of its properties. Eleven years after the expiration of the waiver, and 13 years after the purchase, Fox still owns WWOR-TV along with WNYW-TV, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal, as well as other media outlets serving the New York metropolitan area. As a result, residents of New Jersey are deprived of the local news and information they would get if WWOR were run to benefit them, instead of the residents of New York City. UCC OC Inc., Rainbow/PUSH, and Voices for New Jersey filed documents this fall challenging the FCC's unwillingness to follow its own rules and procedures, and permit Fox to flagrantly ignore federal regulations. For more, see our Media Diversity Issue Page.

Media Ownership Diversity

This summer and fall, UCC OC Inc. has been busy collaborating with many of our partners to persuade the Federal Communications Commission to increase the number of women and people of color who own television and radio stations. While diverse media ownership has been a goal of the FCC for decades, ownership is concentrated in the hands of a few corporations with few women or people of color involved.

UCC OC Inc. supports rules that eliminate confidential deals (called sharing agreements) that permit TV and radio stations to circumvent ownership limits. We asked the FCC to take action to remedy the almost twenty year delay in collecting accurate statistics about ownership by women and people of color -- without data it will be hard to know if progress is being made! In addition, we filed extensive analysis with Common Cause explaining some of the changes the FCC needs to make to support policies to improve ownership diversity. For more, see our Media Ownership Diversity Issue page.

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