Nov 13, 2007

Martin proposes limits for cross-market ownership

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's proposal to allow cross-market ownership of newspapers and broadcast stations would limit acquisitions to certain conditions within the top 20 markets. Other pending proposals to change ownership rules for local radio and television stations apparently have been tabled. The FCC announced the proposal this morning and set a Dec. 11 deadline for comments. Free Press quickly dubbed the proposal "corporate welfare for big media" and said it appears to contain a loophole allowing consolidation in many more markets.

Columbia j-school honors PBS filmmaker Ofra Bikel

Tonight, Columbia University gives a black-tie salute to Frontline documentarian Ofra Bikel [profile]. She'll receive the $25,000 John Chancellor Award for Excellence in Journalism. Her investigations have freed 13 people who otherwise would have been jailed because of breakdowns in the justice system, including aggressive plea bargaining, rigid mandatory sentences and reliance on faulty testimony. Among those freed are Terence Garner, whose crime was to have a name similar to a suspect's. Betsy Kelly, one of seven North Carolinians sentenced for child abuse and freed after Bikel's Innocence Lost reporting, will attend the dinner. "Ofra Bikel’s work has shone a stark light on the realities of the American justice system," said Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia j-school.