The strength of this country lies in its democratic ideals and rich cultural diversity. While true democracy depends on access to accurate, complete, and timely information, that access is genuinely achieved only when communications media are available and responsive to the diverse cultures and characteristics of every community. At present, our democracy is being weakened by the pervasiveness of large commercial media interests whose priority is profit, not the public interest. One result of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was an unprecedented concentration of media ownership, especially in the radio industry. Within four years of its enactment, major corporate mergers and consolidations led to the reinforcement of barriers that have kept traditionally underrepresented groups at the margins of power and influence. These groups simply lacked the basic channels of participation that one might expect in a democracy, especially in terms of information gathering and dissemination through media outlets located in their own communities.