Bilirakis Introduces IPTIA to Amplify Small Media Voices

Bilirakis Introduces IPTIA to Amplify Small Media Voices

Grayson Bakich
Grayson Bakich
November 2, 2023

Censorship and reducing competition go hand-in-hand when it comes to the mainstream media. Representative Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) has introduced bipartisan legislation designed to allow smaller voices in the media to let their voices heard through market-based incentives.

Named the Independent Programmers Tax Incentive Act (IPTIA), the bill would give investment tax credits to services such as Hulu, YouTube TV, Sling, and similar entities to carry independent programmers.

According to Rep. Bilirakis's press release, video-based media is a big business, expected to be worth over $1 trillion by 2030, as Precedence Research has estimated. Of course, the larger companies take in most of that money, which gives them significant influence on what viewers are going to see. As a result, Rep. Bilirakis warned, "The concentration of media ownership reduces diversity of viewpoints, limits consumer choice, and creates the potential for biased coverage based upon real or perceived conflicts of interest."

A recent example of the harm centralized media produces is the coverage of a malfunctioning rocket exploding at a Gaza hospital, which American media reported as the fault of Israel immediately without verifying. Both Representative Brian Mast (R-FL) and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) bashed the press's willingness to report on a story that turned out to be false, with Rep. Mast accusing the media of having an "eagerness to blame Israel."

Sen. Rubio similarly blasted the media's trust in a terrorist organization that had just murdered hundreds of people, adding that "you have an informational war going on" in addition to the physical battle.

Hence, the introduction of IPTIA, which Bilirakis said "levels the playing field and opens the door for independent entities to compete and thrive in the Pay TV industry."

Representative Greg Steube (R-FL), one of the bill's cosponsors, added that IPTIA "will give the American people access to a greater variety of new content providers by incentivizing more competition in an industry dominated by a handful of large media companies."

Other cosponsors in Congress included Representative Maria Elvira Salazar (R-FL), Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL), and Representative Darren Soto (D-FL).

The heads of several media companies have also expressed support for the bill, including Kids Street, NewsMax, Comercio, VMe Media, EarthX, and Prime Women.

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Grayson Bakich

Grayson Bakich

Florida born and raised, Grayson Bakich is a recent recipient of a Master’s Degree in Political Science at the University of Central Florida. His thesis examined recent trends in political polarization and how this leads into justification of violence.

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