In the era of social media and blogs, broadcast journalism in Arizona, and around the country, stands at a crossroads. In order to stay relevant in today’s news environment, it must support a more diverse and innovative industry. Standard General’s acquisition of TEGNA broadcast stations is poised to give the broadcast news business a much-needed investment shot in the arm, but unfortunately regulators at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) continue to hold up this transaction in an unprecedented way. After a review that last a year already, the FCC recently took action to block the deal by delaying it further.

The FCC says it wants to increase minority media ownership over and over again, but unfortunately failed to take action to actually do something about it. This acquisition will create the largest minority-owned and women-run broadcast company in the United States under the leadership of Soo Kim and Deb McDermott and bring transformational change to the broadcast industry. For Arizona, this means building up and supporting its stations in the state, which include KNAZ in Flagstaff, NBC 12 in Phoenix, and Fox 11 and My 18 in Tucson.

Broadcast journalism matters now more than ever, as print media continues to decline weekday newspaper circulation fell from 55.8 million U.S. households to less than 29 million between 2000 and 2008. The number of print newsroom employees has been cut in half, and 1,800 of 9,000 local newspapers tracked by one database have closed since 2004.

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DC Journal | by Raul E. Aguirre