Originally published: August 5, 2011
Last updated: August 5, 2011 - 12:23pm
The Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition wrote to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chair Julius Genachowski strongly urging the FCC to take action to implement the modernized disclosure recommendations in its recent comprehensive report, The Information Needs of Communities (“INOC”). This report, issued earlier this summer, compiles the most up-to-date and comprehensive review of one of the core areas under the Commission’s authority—mass communications—and the Commission’s statutory obligations to ensure that the mass media serve the public interest, convenience and necessity. The groups praised the report’s top recommendation, to “emphasize online disclosure as a pillar of FCC media policy.”
In the letter, the Coalition urges the FCC to expedite adoption of streamlined online broadcaster program reporting by eliminating paper forms and instead implementing the online public file requirements proposed in the INOC Report. The Coalition proposes allowing broadcasters, who receive their licenses to use the publicly owned airwaves for free, to vastly reduce the data submitted, but retain its statistically validity by submitting programming data using two “constructed” weeks per quarter selected by the FCC – a method used by academics in their studies -- using a standardized and comparable format in the following programming categories: Local News; Local Civic/Governmental Affairs; Local Electoral Affairs; and Closed Captioning/Emergency Accessibility Complaints. Broadcasters would also have the option of reporting on other types of programming, should they choose to do so, in areas such as emergency programming, religious programming, and national news. In addition, because coverage of local electoral issues is critical to an informed citizenry, broadcasters would be required to disclose all local electoral affairs programming aired during the peak campaign periods when the lowest unit charge laws are in effect (i.e., 45 days before a primary election and 60 days before a general election).
Members of the PIPA Coalition include: Benton Foundation, Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, Free Press, Media Access Project, New America Foundation, and the Office of Communication, Inc. of the United Church of Christ.
- Debating Disclosure and Transparency in the FCC Future of Media Report
- Good and Bad in FCC’s new Disclosure Plan
- FCC Releases Localism Rules, Proposals
- It's Digital Decision Time Say Public Interest Advocates
- New Features in FCC’s Online Public Inspection File System Announced
- 28 Groups Tell FCC That Digital TV Rules Lack Public Benefit
- Broadcasting, Disclosure and Democracy
- Court: Let FCC Handle Challenges to New Disclosure Rules
- Political Ad Disclosure for 2014 -- Why Not?
- Bringing Broadcasters into the 21st Century
- New Reporting Regs for Broadcasters
- FCC to Take Another Crack at Boosting Station Disclosures
- Groups Urge FCC to Protect White Spaces
- Noncoms Seek Carve-Out From Station Reporting Proposals
- Liberman pulls protested program