One of the main reasons that the FCC is incapable of producing regulations that serve the public interest is that they define public interest as something more like corporate handouts. Rather than evaluating regulations on their ability to advance open and informed dialogue, the cornerstone of democracy, the FCC grades its proposals on whether they stimulate or stifle competition. The former method of review places value on people and communities, while the latter focuses only on financial statements.
The current procedure for evaluation is actually based on something used to measure market concentration, the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. Now the Center for American Progress, with Fordham University’s Donald McGannon Communication Research Center, has developed a new “Local Media Diversity Metrics Index” that would place the emphasis on a true measure of what is in the public interest. They will be hosting an event tomorrow with Rep. Xavier Becerra (D-CA) to introduce the new methodology. Please consider attending or notifying your representatives because it is probably going to take more than a press conference to get this FCC to adopt the proposal.