With little fanfare, the Federal Communications Commission has issued rules that could greatly help the cause of journalism – if they’re not watered down in the next two months.
Why these rules matter
These rules are important and people who care about journalism and the public’s right to know can weigh in effectively by December 22.
In response to the report on Information Needs of Communities (INC), of which I was the lead author, the FCC in October approved a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking with the nondescript title of “Standardized and Enhanced Disclosure Requirements for Television Broadcast Licensee Public Interest Obligations.” The Commission (appropriately) requires broadcasters to disclose certain information as part of the compact that resulted in them getting these valuable licenses. Mostly, this “public inspection file” sits, ignored, in filing cabinets.
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