AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File

The FCC is taking up several key measures that could make way for even more media consolidation under the Trump Administration, after it already signed off on a rule change that cleared the way for the Sinclair-Tribune deal. These rules were put in place decades ago to maintain a diversity of voices in local markets.

Why it matters: The Trump Administration's laissez-faire approach to media and telecom regulation is part of what has allowed media deals to reach a two-year high in Q3.

TV, newspaper ownership rule — Per Reuters: "The Federal Communications Commission will vote at its November meeting to rollback landmark media ownership regulations that limit the ability of companies to own multiple TV stations and newspapers in the same market and remove other restrictions, Chairman Ajit Pai told a congressional panel Wednesday." Per The Washington Post's Brian Fung: "The FCC vote, expected Nov. 16, could also eliminate a rule that prevents TV stations in the same market from merging if the outcome leads to fewer than eight independent stations operating in that market."Studio elimination rule: Per Variety's Ted Johnson: "The FCC on Tuesday voted to eliminate a rule that required broadcast station groups to maintain a physical presence in the community of their primary local coverage area, a move that critics say will help mediacompanies further consolidate their operations and even be a boost to the ambitions of Sinclair Broadcast Group."What they're saying: Proponents of repealing them (mostly newspapers and broadcast companies) say a new economic solution is needed for local media to survive in the digital age. Opponents (mostly Democrats) worry it could have an impact on democracy and emergency communications.

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Updated 44 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Voters in Wisconsin, Michigan urged to return absentee ballots to drop boxes

Signs for Joe Biden are seen outside a home in Coon Valle, Wisconsin, on Oct. 3. Photo by KEREM YUCEL via Getty

Wisconsin Democrats and the Democratic attorney general of Michigan are urging voters to return absentee ballots to election clerks’ offices or drop boxes, warning that the USPS may not be able to deliver ballots by the Election Day deadline.

Driving the news: The Supreme Court rejected an effort by Wisconsin Democrats and civil rights groups to extend the state's deadline for counting absentee ballots to six days after Election Day, as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3. In Michigan, absentee ballots must also be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

52 mins ago - Technology

Facebook warns of "perception hacks" undermining trust in democracy

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Facebook warned Tuesday that bad actors are increasingly taking to social media to create the false perception that they’ve pulled off major hacks of electoral systems or have otherwise seriously disrupted elections.

Why it matters: "Perception hacking," as Facebook calls it, can have dire consequences on people's faith in democracy, sowing distrust, division and confusion among the voters it targets.

Obama: Trump is "jealous of COVID's media coverage"

Former President Barack Obama launched a blistering attack on President Trump while campaigning for Joe Biden in Orlando on Tuesday, criticizing Trump for complaining about the pandemic as cases soar and joking that he's "jealous of COVID's media coverage."

Driving the news: Trump has baselessly accused the news media of only focusing on covering the coronavirus pandemic — which has killed over 226,000 Americans so far and is surging across the country once again — as a way to deter people from voting on Election Day and distract from other issues.