UCC Media Justice Achievements in 2014
As 2014 draws to a close, we wanted to share some of the special moments that defined the United Church of Christ’s Office of Communication, Inc., this past year, and to invite you to make an end-of-year gift to support our continuing work in media justice. OC Inc. had many occasions to celebrate this year, even as we rededicate ourselves to next year's work.
Early this year the FCC enacted new rules to protect the right of prison inmates to stay connected with their families and loved ones. In February these new rules capped the cost of local phone calls to and from prison. Previously a one hour call could cost as much as $60. The new rules covered only interstate long distance calls, our continued advocacy at the FCC has led them to announce a plan to move forward on new regulation that would cover intrastate and local calls as well.
In a different realm, we've also made some progress this year in diversifying media ownership. In 2014, the FCC issued its quadrennial review of its media ownership rules and denied industry requests to allow further consolidation. Furthermore the FCC closed a loophole, which led 10 TV stations to be sold to either women or people of color.
This October we hosted our annual Everett C. Parker Lecture at Washington D.C.'s Newseum and were happy to have FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler deliver the keynote address. Makani Themba (Executive Director of The Praxis Project) and Catherine J.K. Sandoval (California Public Utilities Commissioner) both received awards, and all three speakers spoke strongly on issues from closing the digital divide, to reforming the media to reflect a larger diversity of voices.
Finally, in the closing months of this year, OC Inc. partnered with Stanford's Center of Internet and Society to create a new coalition called Faithful Internet. This interfaith group was formed to assist in making the voices of people of all faiths heard in the debate surrounding net neutrality. Please check out FaithfulInternet.org where you can view our webinar on YouTube and use our easy to use testimonial tool to create a personalized testimonial expressing why an open internet matters to you.
This has been a year when events around us challenged us to see the light of justice, but we know that, to achieve social justice, we need just infrastructure to support our movement. A just media is our mission to support the many varied missions within our community. We are so grateful for all the support we receive from individuals like you. Please consider making and end of year donation on our website.
Thank you again for all you're support, have a wonderful holiday season, and stay tuned for more exciting updates in the new year.
United Church of Christ's Media Justice Ministry, OC Inc.