There’s a town hall meeting tonight (Wednesday) with current and former members of the Federal Communications Commission. The federal broadcasting license for every TV station in Iowa expired October first, and from now through the end of December people can file comments with the F-C-C on how the broadcasters are doing. Jonathon Adelstein is one of the F-C-C members who set up the meetings to visit with local people. Adelstein says it’s the first one they’ve done in quite a while, and the first one held in Iowa. Adelstein says people are concerned about the “homogenization” of what’s shown on TV and how little it reflects the unique concerns of local communities. He says they’re also disturbed by the growing crassness of some programming. Nicholas Johnson is a former F-C-C commissioner who now teaches law at the University of Iowa. He agrees broadcasters seem to have moved away from their original promise to serve local communities. Johnson says the standard is “public interest, convenience and necessity.” Johnson says Congress has asked the F-C-C to focus more on the local service broadcasters perform, and says the agency’s telling broadcasters that’s one of their prime responsibilities. The town hall meeting with the current and former members of the F-C-C is tonight (Wednesday) at 7 in the Pomerantz Center on the University of Iowa campus in Iowa City.
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