SANTA MONICA, CA - More than three dozen organizations have filed a letter calling on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to reinstate collection of equal employment opportunity, or "EEO", data. The letter was submitted in support of National Hispanic Media Coalition's (NHMC) reply comment filed in mid-September.
From 1970 through 2000, every broadcast station was required to report the number of employees in each of nine job categories by race and gender. Members of the public could gain access to this data by visiting the station and looking at the public file or by going to FCC headquarters. The FCC used this data to compile annual "trend reports" tracking the aggregate percentage of people of color and women employed in each job category. Although the Commission decided to reinstate this data collection in 2004, that decision has never been implemented.
"The FCC's aspiration to be an agency that is open, transparent, and driven by data, is significantly undermined by its continued failure to implement its 2004 decision to collect statistics needed by the FCC and the public to assess whether minorities and women are being afforded equal employment opportunities in the media," said Professor Angela Campbell, director of Georgetown Law's Institute for Public Representation, who has been representing NHMC on this matter.
Angelo Falcon, Executive Director of the National Institute for Latino Policy based in New York, added, "EEO data is an indispensable tool that people in local communities can use to hold their media organizations accountable." In the past, Falcon, a longstanding member of NHMC's Board of Directors, utilized this data to produce a diversity report on New York City television broadcasters.
"The large number of prestigious organizations lending their support on this letter illustrates that this is an issue that the public cares about a great deal," stated NHMC's President and CEO, Alex Nogales. He added, "We hope very soon to be congratulating the FCC for ending this unnecessary delay."
The organizations signing onto the letter include: Access Humboldt; AfterDark CATV PRO; Alliance for Community Media; Alliance for Women in Media; Asian American Justice Center; Benton Foundation; Center for Media Justice; Chicago Media Action; Committee for Hispanic Children and Families, Inc.; Common Cause; Communications Workers of America; Dr. Clara E. Rodriguez, Professor, Fordham University, Department of Sociology & Anthropology; Free Press; Future of Music Coalition; Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU); Hispanic National Bar Association; Industry Ears; Media Access Project; Media Alliance; Media and Democracy Coalition; Media Working Group; Minority Media and Telecommunications Council; National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives; National Association of Hispanic Journalists; National Association of Hispanic Publications; National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP); National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, Inc. (NACOPRW); New America Foundation, Open Technology Initiative; National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI); National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC); National Institute of Latino Policy (NiLP); Office of Communication, United Church of Christ, Inc.; Public Knowledge; Reclaim the Media; SueWilsonReports; The Transmission Project; United States Hispanic Leadership Institute; UNITY: Journalists of Color; and Women in Media & News (WIMN)