House Passes Media Ownership Diversity Bill, Resolution
July 21, 2021 at 1:20 AM (PT)
The push to promote diversity in broadcast station ownership took a step forward in the HOUSE with passage of the Media Diversity Act of 2021 (H.R. 1754) and a separate resolution pledging Congressional support for working with private media entities to find solutions to the diversity ownership issue (H.Res. 277).
The Media Act would amend Sec. 13(d) of the Communications Act to add that the FCC “shall consider market entry barriers for socially disadvantaged individuals in the communications marketplace in accordance with the national policy." The resolution adds a pledge by CONGRESS to “work with media entities and diverse stakeholders to develop common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.”
A statement from NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS (NAB) Pres./CEO GORDON SMITH celebrated the bill’s passage, saying, “NAB applauds the bipartisan passage by the HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES of legislation promoting solutions that address barriers to entry into the media industry for underserved populations. We thank Reps. VAL DEMINGS (D-FL) and BILLY LONG (R-MO) for their leadership on today’s advances, and will continue working with lawmakers on legislative proposals that would help achieve a media industry that better reflects our nation.
"As a longtime advocate for market-based approaches to address media diversity, NAB supports additional legislation championed by Rep. G.K. BUTTERFIELD (D-NC) and Sen. GARY PETERS (D-MI) reinstating the tax certificate program to create new opportunities for diverse voices to own local radio and TV stations," SMITH added.