NHMC vows continued pressure on FCC


NHMC / National Hispanic Media CoalitionThe National Hispanic Media Coalition wants a better communications environment for Latinos across all areas of FCC responsibility, and that includes increasing the number of Latinos working and serving as executives at the FCC’s Washington headquarters.

Its broadcast goals include increasing the number of minority licensees and decreasing the amount of hate speech heard on American airwaves. It also cites a separate slate of goals on the broadband and telephone areas of FCC responsibility.

“The recommendations included in the Agenda are incredibly important to promoting prosperity for the Latino community. Being both a media advocacy organization and a civil rights organization, we are especially pleased with the recommendations made regarding media and telecommunications policy. We believe that these proposals will go a long way towards ensuring that all Latinos are able to be active participants in our democracy,” said Jessica J. Gonzalez, NHMC’s Vice President of Policy & Legal Affairs.

The Agenda slate of most interest to broadcasters includes the following items:

a. Encourage a comprehensive Federal Communications Commission (FCC) inquiry into the extent and effects of hate speech in media, and/or an update to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) 1993 report to Congress, The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes.    
b. Support FCC policies to expand and promote media ownership diversity.    
c. Oppose media consolidation as a race-neutral way to open doors for diverse owners to enter the media marketplace.    
d. Ensure that the FCC is collecting thorough data on diversity of media ownership and employment and providing this data to the public in a transparent and easily-searchable format that breaks the numbers down by race and ethnicity.    
e. Increase the number of Latinos working at all levels at the FCC. Currently only 3 percent of FCC staff is Latino, and no Latinos are in leading or decision-making roles.

Also on the table:
a. Support modification of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Lifeline Program – which currently subsidizes low-income Americans’ telephone service – to also cover broadband services.    
b. Encourage enhancement of the FCC’s E-Rate Program, which currently subsidizes broadband access in schools and libraries.   
c. Promote competition in the broadband and mobile phone markets to promote lower prices.   
d. Protect consumers from predatory billing and privacy practices.