Internet Resources

See "Issues" for information on these great websites

Iowa Links

The Counter Point

Nicholas Johnson on Media Reform

National links

Center for Media & Public Affairs

Center for Public Integrity

FreePress

(Consumer Report's) Hear Us Now

Journalism.org

Media Matters for America

Museum of Broadcast Comm.

On The Media

Our Airwaves

SinclairAction

 

Sinclair Sites

KGAN TV

KFXA

KDSM

NewsCentral

Sinclair Corporate Site

 
Speak out! Complain !

FCC Complaints

FCC Comments

KGAN TV

 
 
 
 

"The truth is that media mergers have narrowed the range of information and entertainment available to people of all ideologies." - Conservative columist Wlliam Safire

RECENT NEWS

*** Sinclair to retire controversial spokesperson Mark Hyman

*** Sinclair demands more from Iowa cable providers to carry its TV stations

*** IBLTV awaits FCC response to its petition against KGAN

click here for more information

Iowans for Better Local TV are citizens of Iowa concerned about the declining quality of news and current-affairs television. We serve to raise awareness that quality, civility, and fairness of broadcasts have plummetted and that it weakens citizen participation in a democracy. And we take action.

In two decades of deregulation, FCC rules that served good citizenship were gutted in the interest of corporate desires. It has only resulted in more media consolidation, less local involvement, more commercials, and radio and television that shocks and insults rather than contribute to democratic participation. TV news often ignores substantive issues while sensationalism -- the stuff of ratings and profit -- thrive.

The airwaves are the public medium through which a democracy operates. It is a natural resource that does not belong to a few wealthy corporations with their concerns for profit, but to all of us.

Broadcasters certainly have a right to profit. But because they monopolize the public's airwaves -- shouldn't they also help Americans participate in informative public discourse? How else can an a democracy of informed citizens thrive?

IBLTV is a grass-roots, non-partisan, organization, made up of farmers, students, retirees, civil servants, nurses, teachers, and others representing a wide slice of Iowa. But we are all committed to restoring a media system promotes civility and citizen participation. We believe the future of our society depends upon it.

Media reform is not a partisan issue! It is of concern to all who want to restore the connections among people, communities, and the officials we elect to represent us. It is essential to an informed public and a population that can be united to address serious needs of our country. Please read on: you'll see that members of the left, right, and center all share these concerns.*

We hope you will, too, and join in the effort of media reform.

* A considerable amount of media and background information can be found on "The Issues" section of our website.

IBLTV serves as a resource of information and public action. This website contains much information on media problems and reform. For example, see "The Issues" link, above.

And we have been active in the community

- We have written guest opinions in local papers, appeared in broadcast interviews, and have been invited to present information about media issues to various groups.

- Our group has met with our U.S. House representative to present our concerns about the media.

- We co-sponsored a public media-reform conference that was held in Iowa City. It was organized by Free Press and included participation of FCC officials and the public.

- In our largest effort, we created a formal Petition to Deny relicensing of a local TV station that has repeatedly demonstrated poor service to our community. This Petition was submitted to the FCC in December of 2005. Click here for additional information.

What has happened to our media?

Those who advocated media deregulation promised the public all sorts of better things as they gave the industry greater and greater control over our airwaves. "The Market" would produce Greater diversity. Greater depth. Better products. All those promises have proven false. Deregulation has served corporate interests very well and the public shabbily. Corporate media is huge and wealthy.

And much less responsible.

"This is the beginning of a campaign to galvanize America. We need more and better news. Our lives depend on it."

 

Tom Fenton, Senior Correspondent, CBS News

By law, TV is to "serve the public interest" in exchange for their free use of the public's airwaves. This FCC formula was a sensible solution to a monopolistic enterprise that is the dominant means of informing the public. Instead, Big Media gives us "news" that sells and opinions that enrage, leaving us all impoverished. Public interest has been forgotten. So it's time for us to demand it back!

"The truth is that media mergers have narrowed the range of information and entertainment available to people of all ideologies."

 

William Safire, New York Times Editorial; January 20, 2003

Once considered community anchors, local stations are being bought out by corporations that care little about local events or values.  Worse, some impose centralized programming that mocks local values and worsens the declining level of civility afflicting us all.  And it is happening right here!

As our website details, one distant corporation, Sinclair Broadcast Group, used its 62 TV stations to attack an Iowan solely because he expressed views that countered the mean-spirited opinions they force their stations to broadcast. And it has gutted local news staffs -- in some cases down to zero. Sinclair's profits improve, but public service worsens.

And in our pages, you'll see that the problems of media consolidation and concentration are not alarming just one group or citizens or just one party....they are the concern of prominent Republicans, Democrats, and independents who care passionately about restoring a media system that again serves to inform citizenry and serve the public good.

"This is the single most important discussion any American citizen can be a part of."

 

John Nichols, Addressing Iowa's public meeting with the FCC. Iowa City, 5 Oct 05

 

The one-sided speech widely broadcast by an elite and aloof rich is not the free speech of our Constitution, but a distorted reading of First Amendment rights that claims that Corporate Free Speech is the same as a person's - yours! It's an abuse of their privileged use of airwaves that belong to the public. TV stations make billions of dollars off our airwaves, yet they pay not a penny for their use. And some, like Sinclair, ignore the FCC's notion of "public interest" by forcing its stations to air one-sided opinions, with no equal time given to alternative or local viewpoints. They have turned local television into their propaganda tool.

The consolidation and corporatization of our media has occurred as FCC regulations have been repeatedly relaxed over the past two decades. As Senator John McCain has noted, many pro-business rulings have been blessed by Big Media -- and even written by their lobbyists. Those of us old enough have seen the days of serious news replaced by entertainment, gossip, and advertisements spun as "news". Its not just obnoxious, it threatens our democracy by failing to provide enough information for us to act as responsible, active citizens. Members of IBLTV want to fight this trend. We believe the strength of our communities and, ultimately, our nation's democracy depend on it.

To learn more, visit our "Issues" page and check out related media reform pages that are listed along the left margin.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iowans for better local TV