Monday, August 27, 2007

The FCC is Coming

Cross-posted from ICPR's blog, The Race is On:

For years, ICPR has been concerned that broadcasters don't do enough to educate the public about elections. What little news coverage there is tends to focus more on polling and the horse race than on issues, and viewers tend to see more ads than news stories.

The problem got so bad that local media reformers filed complaints in 2005 with the Federal Communications Commission arguing that the failure to cover important local issues was a violation of broadcasters' legal obligation to serve the public interest. (the complaint was dismissed without comment)

The Federal Communications Commission has announced plans to come to Chicago next month. We urge readers who share our concerns to make the trip and let the FCC know what viewers deserve to see.

Details of the meeting are sketchy at the moment. The announced date is Thursday, September 20, and they intend to take public comment. The exact time and place of the meeting are yet to be announced. So, as the broadcasters are fond of saying, stay tuned. But also, be heard. Make plans to attend the hearing, and start thinking of what you'd like to say to the FCC.


Anonymous,  2:37 PM  

I know what I would like to say to the FCC. Enforce your rule prohibiting FCC licensed broadcasters from making any agreement with a non-licensed broadcaster that has the effect of denying equal time to candidates for public office. In 2006, many radio stations rebroadcasted the Illinois Radio Network's coverage of the gubernatorial debate that it sponsored; and the IRN refused to invite all three candidates, excluding Rich Whitney because the Blagojevich campaign threatened to back out if Whitney was invited. Blagojevich, and those like him, should not be permitted to manipulate the media like this; and if FCC licensed broadcasters rebroadcast others coverage, without ensuring that reasonable and objective candidate inclusion standards were in place in advance, they should be severely penalized.

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