Civil and Human Rights Coalition Condemns FCC Inaction on Media Diversity

Media 08.11.16

WASHINGTON – Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, issued the following statement after reports that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted on a proposed media ownership order that fails to advance diversity:

“This proposal makes no progress on media diversity. While it holds the line on media consolidation in many respects, the FCC has set forth no research agenda or policies proven to increase the diversity of ownership in broadcasting. 

For years, the FCC has watched female and minority ownership of broadcast stations dwindle without much concern for the real-world implications of having our broadcast airwaves run almost exclusively by white men.

As a result, the media exaggerates black criminality, unemployment and poverty. And because local news is the main source of news for the vast majority of people and dominates the political discussion in our country, these distortions have real-world effects on how people treat and view African Americans and Latinos.

A 2011 study titled ‘Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys’ saw biased outcomes in ‘everything from less attention from doctors to harsher sentencing by judges, lower likelihood of being hired for a job or admitted to school, lower odds of getting loans, and a higher likelihood of being shot by police.’

The stakes are high for communities of color and women and we urge the FCC to finally put diversity at the top of its agenda.”

Wade Henderson is the president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, a coalition charged by its diverse membership of more than 200 national organizations to promote and protect the rights of all persons in the United States. The Leadership Conference works toward an America as good as its ideals. For more information on The Leadership Conference and its 200-plus member organizations, visit