Former FCC Commissioner and veteran media consolidation
critic Michael Copps is getting a new platform to take aim at media
Common Cause said Monday that Copps, who
joined its governing board last March, would spearhead a national Media and
Democracy Reform Initiative "spotlighting and countering the growing
political and economic power of the communications industry."
At a Minority Media and Telecommunications Council tribute
to Copps at NCTA headquarters earlier this year, Copps vowed to continue to
fight for the public interest and against consolidation, including going on the
road if need be to press his points.
Copps will temporarily step away from the governing board.
The initiative will leverage 35 state chapters and funding
from "several foundations" to spotlight media reform. "Without
media that dig for facts, report real news, and reflect the diversity of our
nation, self-government cannot endure," said Copps in a statement.
Common Cause is particularly concerned about the impact of
media concentration on political speech and the impact of money on elections.
"Working in Washington and through our network of state
chapters, Common Cause's initiative aims to restore and expand diversity, open
access, transparency and public control in both traditional and new media,"
said Common Cause president Bob Edgar. "And in Michael Copps, we've found the
perfect person to guide it."