• Episode 109

Protecting Public Interest: The Role of Regulation in Media

Who owns the news? Media buyouts and mergers have become so commonplace you might not even realize that your local paper or news station is owned by a massive corporation in some far-off place. You might think, “I’m still getting access to information, so why does diversity in media ownership matter?” To find out, we talk with Michael Copps, a former commissioner for the Federal Communications Commission.

About our guests

headshot Michael Copps

Michael Copps is the Special Advisor for Common Cause's Media & Democracy initiatives where he provides guidance on the program's work to promote an open and accessible media ecosystem. From 2001-11, he served as a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission, where his tenure was marked by a consistent embrace of the public interest. As a strong voice in opposition to consolidation in the media, he dissented in the FCC vote on the Comcast-NBC Universal merger. He has been a consistent proponent of localism in programming and diversity in media ownership. Though retired from the Commission, he has maintained a commitment to an inclusive, informative media landscape.

Headshot Sydney Forde

Sydney L. Forde is a Ph.D. candidate in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications at the Pennsylvania State University studying the political economy of media industries. Specifically, Forde studies journalism as a merit good, and broadband infrastructure as a public good, while advocating for public media and municipal broadband (respectively) as non-commercial alternatives to existing commercial dominated markets. She was recently nominated as the first student member to join WPSU’s board of representatives, was a COMPASS fellow with Annenberg’s MIC Center in Washington DC in the summer of 2022, and has been closely involved in the development of the university wide News Literacy Initiative at Penn State. Forde has published articles in the Canadian Journal of Communication, Communication, Culture & Critique, and Journalism, as well as public scholarship pieces in Yale’s Law and Political Economy (LPE) project and The Conversation.