Case Study review: lack of diversity in commercial broadcasting

I’m sad to say that I was not surprised when reading the case study in our textbook by Kristal Brent Zook titled “Blacks Own Just Ten U.S. Television Stations.  Here’s Why.”  As a female minority in America, I am very much aware of the fact that minorities aren’t portrayed that often in popular tv shows or movies (other than the token character).  So it was no surprise to read about TV, film and radio stations.

I was surprised that there actually were regulations in the 1970s, and that progress went backwards when it was repealed in 1995.  I could see that happening under the current administration, but I can’t help wonder why more hasn’t been done over the years to put the Minority Ownership Policy back in place.  With actors boycotting the Oscars in 2016 because of all-white nominees, and many Asian American actors recently speaking out against the lack of diversity on television, I am surprised to have not heard about this issue earlier.

But when can be done?  The case study points out that Clear Channel wiped out many small stations and minority owned radio stations when it went on a buying spree.  Now with big corporations and attempted mergers, it seems even more impossible to fix this situation than it did in the 1970s.  Under the current administration, nothing will improve.  We have already witnessed things get worse for minorities, wildlife, and the environment.  The current FCC chairman made a mockery of people’s concerns about the repeal of Net Neutrality with his video about the things people can still do without Net Neutrality.  I would not expect anything good to come from him, either.

Maybe right now, the best thing is awareness.  Older white males still seem to dominate everything in this country.  As that starts to change, hopefully these important issues will finally change as well.

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