On January 19, 2021, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) v. Prometheus Radio Project, which concerns media ownership rules. In essence, the Prometheus Radio Project is arguing the FCC hasn’t assessed and developed policies to promote minority ownership (i.e., media owned by women and minorities). The FCC is arguing that it is too difficult to assess the effects of media ownership policy and that they shouldn’t be responsible for it.
Christopher Terry with the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota is available to speak about why this case is significant.
“In 1996, the FCC began implementation of the new ownership limits for broadcast radio and television stations contained within the Telecommunications Act. The changes brought to the media industry have been dramatic, and, as a result, the ownership of media outlets by women and minority groups continues to be extremely limited.
“Among the skeptics of the outcomes of the FCC’s decision-making has been a panel of the Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Now, after four losses at the appellate level to the citizen petitioners led by the Prometheus Radio Project, more than 20 years of FCC Media Ownership Policy decision-making goes in front of the Supreme Court. At stake: whether the FCC has sufficient empirical evidence to support the agency’s Incubator program and the agency’s changes to the rules released in November of 2017.”
Christopher Terry, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the Hubbard School of Journalism and Mass Communication in the College of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. His areas of expertise include administrative law, including media ownership and advertising regulation, political advertising, copyright, free expression, fair use, creativity, open access, creator rights and digital media law.