HOPE - Helping Our Peninsula's Environment
Box 1495, Carmel, CA 93921                     Info(at)1hope.org
831/624-6500                                                  www.1hope.org



Commissioners
Federal Communications Commission  July 21, 2004

Public Interest Needs Broadcast Letters-to-Editor

Good evening Commissioners,

 Thank you for holding this hearing and thank you for holding it here.

* We are not being served by local TV broadcasting. One-sided pro-business / anti-environmental local news reporting is standard here.

Example: A water supply/building moratorium is a major current local front-page controversy. All three peninsula newspapers at least mentioned there was public support for the moratorium at the single hearing, July 7, 2004. 

None of the three major local English language TV stations (KSBW, KION, KCBA) allowed any mention of public support for the moratorium - but they all provided extensive coverage of the moratorium criticism by those who had a direct financial interest in it.

 This is absolutely backwards since newspapers can have no government mandate to provide both sides of a story, but broadcasters do.

Solution:
 According to most journalism experts - the letters to the editor page is the most read section other than the front page.

 Our local KSBW TV pretends to provide viewer responses to their one-sided and anti-public interest news coverage and editorials, but in reality - the only thing they provide is their one sentence summary of our rebuttals - not in full, not on the air, and not by the author - only on their website.

* We need meaningful broadcast time dedicated to genuine, unedited (except for slander) public letters to the editor - just as our unedited comments are given to local City councils and broadcast live to our community over cable.

* For every minute of local "news" - please require local TV and radio stations provide an equal number of free minutes, in adjacent time (not 4 am), for local unedited video "letters to the editor" spoken by their authors or a person they choose.   It might even be popular !

Thank you,
 
 

David Dilworth, Executive Director