Government Interest in Media Diversity
The representation of diverse points of view and diverse ownership of businesses within the television industry has long been of interest to Congress. Among other laws, Section 257(b) of the Communications Act [47 U.S.C. §257], enacted as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to promote policies favoring “diversity of media voices” and “vigorous economic competition.” Given this statutory direction, the FCC has sought to encourage diversity of viewpoints, as reflected in the availability of media content offering a variety of perspectives as well as diverse programming formats and content. To accomplish this, the FCC has relied on its authority over broadcasters, as well as over cable and satellite services that distribute television programming to consumers. For example, the FCC’s Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) rules and policies govern employee recruitment by broadcast stations, as well as cable and satellite video programming distributors.
Role of Online Services in Entertainment Industry Diversity