House approves Long legislation to end media industry entry barriers for underserved

Rep. Billy Long

Bipartisan legislation introduced by U.S. Rep. Billy Long (R-MO) that would require the federal government to consider media market entry barriers for socially disadvantaged individuals on July 20 received approval by the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I am thrilled to have led this effort to get this important piece of bipartisan legislation through the House of Representatives,” Rep. Long said. “There are simply too many barriers to entry into media for those who are socially disadvantaged. This is an important first step in ensuring the communications marketplace is a fair and diverse space.”

The House-approved Measuring the Economics Driving Investments and Access for (MEDIA) Diversity Act of 2021, H.R. 1754, which Rep. Long sponsored on March 10 with U.S. Reps. Marc Veasey (D-TX) and Antonio Delgado (D-NY), would require the Federal Communications Commission to consider market entry barriers for socially disadvantaged individuals when assessing the state of competition in the communications marketplace, according to the text of the bill.

The U.S. Senate received the measure on July 21 and referred it to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for consideration.

National Association of Broadcasters President and CEO Gordon Smith thanked Rep. Long for his leadership on the bill and applauded passage of H.R. 1754, which he said promotes “solutions that address barriers to entry into the media industry for underserved populations.” 

In addition to approving H.R. 1754, the House passed the related and bipartisan House Resolution 277, which would reaffirm the chamber’s commitment to media diversity by working with media companies and diverse stakeholders to develop “common ground solutions to eliminate barriers to media diversity.” The resolution, which is identical to Senate Resolution 73, currently has 72 cosponsors.