Julius Genachowski, Chairman of the Federal Communication Commission, announced recently that he’s stepping down.
The agency focuses on broadband, competition, the spectrum, the media, and public safety and homeland security, and the Columbia Journalism Review looks at how decisions made under the next FCC chief will affect the news:
- That person will likely decide whether Rupert Murdoch and other big media owners will be allowed to own both newspapers and TV or radio stations in large markets.
- With more newspapers reducing print schedules and relying solely on digital, the next FCC chair will determine ways to either make broadband more accessible and cheaper or whether to maintain the status quo, with rising prices and a limited number of competitors in the marketplace.
- The FCC is the only agency with a mandate to make the media more diverse, local, and accountable. A new chief could choose to use its enforcement powers to ensure diversity is reflected in the voices, perspectives, and owners in media.
- The new chairperson could also determine whether to make political advertising more transparent in TV ads and online.