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What: The Federal Communication Commission's Localism Task Force conducts a public hearing on media consolidation rules and their impact the local content and diversity of voices in radio, TV, and newspapers.

When: Wed, Jan 28, 5:30-9:30pm

Where: City Council Chambers, Main and Commerce streets. Seating inside is limited to 275. The hearing will be webcast via the FCC website (www.fcc.gov) and also cablecast on the Government Channel 21. At press time, several activist groups were trying to arrange Spanish translation.

Who will attend: FCC Chairman Michael Powell and Commissioners Kathleen Abernathy, Michael Copps, and Jonathan Adelstein. There also will be panelists, many of them representing the industry. The public will also be allowed time to comment. A hearing was held in Charlotte, North Carolina, last fall. Minutes of that meeting are available at www.fcc.gov. In the search box, type "localism Charlotte minutes."

What happens next? After the FCC holds its final localism hearing in May, the Task Force can make recommendations to the Commission within 12 months on how the FCC can promote localism in TV and radio. The Task Force can also advise the Commission on legislation that could be proposed in Congress to strengthen localism. However, it should be noted that last summer, shortly after the FCC received 750,000 correspondences from citizens opposing the proposed ownership rules that would allow more corporate concentration, FCC Chairman Michael Powell pushed for those rules, which passed the Commission 3-2. In other words, you're going to have hold these folks' feet to the fire.

Educational events and teach-ins:


THURSDAY, JANUARY 22

Spanish Language Media and the FCC
7-9pm, Fuerza Unida, 710 New Laredo Hwy. between SW Military Dr. and W. Southcross Blvd.
Spanish speakers are encouraged to attend.

Panel discussion: How to reclaim the airwaves
7-9pm, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Theater, 1300 Guadalupe St.
Speakers representing media, academia, and community groups


SATURDAY, JANUARY 24

Activists' workshop: Take back the media!
3-5pm, Café Revolución, 527 El Paso


WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 28

AFL-CIO press conference
3pm, Central Labor Council (AFL-CIO) Building, St. Mary's and La Villita streets. March to City Hall afterward.
4pm rally outside City Hall


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