(From Media Policy Blog)
This morning MPB received a disturbing update from the United Church of Christ's Accessible Airwaves campaign that their ad promoting the church's inclusive nature wasn't being allowed to play on the big networks. They are fighting an uphill battle to get their message on the major networks.
What happens when the major networks are the only mainstream outlet to reach the public? What happens when you can't buy time on their network because they deem it "too controversial?"
Read Rev. Bob Chase's letter to the blogging community asking for our help to raise awareness about this issue as well as watch the video here:
This commercial has also been rejected by all the major networks, using such baffling reasons that it is "too controversial" or "political advertising."
More insidious, and a signal for anyone concerned about the impact of media consolidation, is that the networks have banned it from the cable stations that they own, including several stations that ran our ad last year, removing a critical communication link that the UCC has with the public. See this story here and a great OpEd piece in the San Jose Mercury News here. Even the Viacom owned LGBT-targeted LOGO network refused to air the ad "because of the political nature of its content."
Of particular importance to us is that we produced the ad in Spanish and NBC has kept the ad off Telemundo and the good folks at Univision have seen fit not to air the commercial there, virtually eliminating our reach into the Latino community. See our press release…[here].
Remember, we want to pay for these commercials, not get free air time. This begs a huge question for us: why do some religious voices find expression in this country and others do not?
In a related development, there was a significant story in the NY Times this morning featuring our General Minister and President John Thomas and his personal campaign to expose the organized effort on the part of the religious right and their political allies to undermine mainstream faithgroups. You can read this article at here.
Thanks for your support as we seek to assert our first amendment rights.
–Rev. Bob Chase