Magazine article The Crisis

Media Maven: Reaching People Where They Are

Magazine article The Crisis

Media Maven: Reaching People Where They Are

Article excerpt

[ GOVERNMENT ]

Mignon Clyburn hopes to help neglected communities get plugged-in.

Mignon Clyburn has served on the Federal Comm unica tions Commission for less than a year. Yet she's changing the landscape of communications as we know it. As part of the five-member board, Clyburn is charged with helping to decide policies regarding the regulation of television, Internet and radio. The FCC also distributes broadband access to companies and approves mergers and acquisitions of media companies.

"I would like the FCC to do a better job of addressing the needs of those consumers, service providers, licensees and other entities that are not enjoying the same benefits of communications services as other entities," Clyburn wrote in an e-mail. "For example, it is long overdue that the FCC do a better job of promoting communications services to American Indian Tribal lands."

Most recently, the FCC unveiled a national plan that would, among other things, provide broadband access to low-income, urban and rural communities. It's a great step, but Clyburn would also like the FCC to "encourage more diversity in the communications industry for African Americans, women and other communities of color."

Nominated by President Obama in June, Clyburn was sworn in as an FCC commissioner on Aug. 3. Her father, Rep. James E. Clyburn (DS.C.), was the first African American representative from South Carolina since Reconstruction and today is the House majority whip.

Her parents met "while fighting for equal rights and opportunities in South Carolina," says Clyburn. …

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