Bruce Dixon - Black Agenda Report
All most of us know about the transition to digital TV are two things. The first thing we know is that some people will need converter boxes on their old TVs to receive the new digital broadcasts. The second thing we know is that digital broadcast technology will enable high definition TV. As far as corporate broadcasters and the FCC are concerned, that's all we need to know, and those are the boundaries of legitimate public discourse.
What the FCC and broadcasters are actively concealing from the public is that digital broadcasting technology enables thousands of new digital TV channels on the public broadcast spectrum, all of which broadcasters have allocated to themselves without the inconvenient public scrutiny issuing thousands of new station licenses might have attracted. Thus minorities and women, local entrepreneurs, colleges and universities, community, civic and labor organizations and local governments who otherwise might acquire a portion of the new digital TV channels and used them to broadcast local news, arts, information and public service in hundreds of US markets have been frozen out of the chance to serve the public over the public's airwaves without even the bother of public explanation or debate.
Utterly captured by the private broadcasters it is supposed to police and regulate, the FCC has been tasked with selling this piece of grand theft digital as a public service, and farmed out the job to the notorious PR firm of Ketchum Communications.
The "We're Not Listening Tour" hits Austin, TX on September 18, 2008.