United Methodist Communications' leader testifies before FCC
Dec. 12, 2006
The Rev. Larry Hollon
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS) - At a Dec. 11 public hearing regarding the
Federal Communication Commission's media ownership rules, the head of
The United Methodist Church's communications agency told FCC
commissioners that relaxing the rules on ownership of media has resulted
in a form of censorship.
"I know you do not advocate censorship, but one of the consequences
of relaxing the rules on ownership of media has been a form of
censorship: a limiting of voices in the public dialogue that is so
important to our representative democracy," said the Rev. Larry Hollon,
chief executive of United Methodist Communications.
"As rules on public service and ownership of media have been relaxed
and as ownership consolidates into fewer and fewer hands, it is becoming
more difficult, and more expensive, to project our voice into the
public conversation," Hollon testified.
He cited the refusal of religious advertising by some broadcast
networks as an example of how corporate policies can restrict free
2003, Reuters refused to carry United Methodist advertising - with the
theme "Open hearts. Open minds. Open doors." - on a Times Square
electronic billboard. That decision was later reversed when the
denomination protested on the grounds that the church should have the
same access to commercial space as any other organization.
During a combination of panel presentations and public comment
periods, a diverse group of performers, music industry executives,
independent radio station owners, college students, advocates and others
gathered to present their viewpoints to commission members.
The Nashville hearing was one of six that will be held nationwide
seeking public input on rules governing media consolidation. Among the
issues being considered are newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rules,
and local radio and TV ownership limits.
News media contact: Tim Tanton, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or email@example.com.
The Rev. Larry Hollon's testimony to the FCC
FCC hearing draws stars, activists
FCC rules up for debate
Churches find means to follow FCC rule
Action Alert [PDF]
Reuters reconsiders policy against religious advertising
FCC Hearings Headlines
United Methodist Communications