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U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke Advocates for Small & Multicultural Media Providers

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke (NY-09) remains steadfast in her efforts to urge the FCC to consider the potentially damaging impact the proposed ‘Set Top Box’ policy changes will have on small, independent and multicultural media before finalizing the proposed rules.  Rep. Clarke issued the following full statement in response to a recent joint blog posting by the National Economic Council and the White House Council of Economic Advisors.

“In light of the recent positions taken by FCC and the Obama administration, I am compelled to respond to their notion that the ‘Set Top Box’ issue is simply one of expanded competition. I am in favor of increased competition, particularly for the benefit of the American consumer, however the concerns of small and multicultural media providers and my colleagues must be addressed. The alarming pace of the FCC fails to adequately examine the unintended consequences and potential damage that may occur as a result of these proposed rules.

I strongly believe that promoting greater diversity and inclusion on and in our nation’s shared media platforms is an important public policy goal.  Currently, multicultural owned and managed stations offer considerably more diverse and inclusive content than current mainstream outlets. Given the history of exclusion and marginalization in this industry, access to outlets and programming that ensure different and accurate perspectives are essential.

The potential for harm increases when sweeping policy measures are enacted without the benefit of robust discussion. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has accepted my request to formally conduct an impact study and I await a response from the FCC regarding a delay in rulemaking until the study is complete. My question is simply—what is the rush FCC?

We must ensure that minority programmers are not left behind and create a space for them to not only survive but also thrive. Technology firms wishing to enter the cable content provider’s space should exercise patience and sensitivity, and I look forward to working with the FCC, the Obama administration, and my colleagues to fully explore the ramifications of the proposed rules.”


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