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Published On: Fri, Feb 21st, 2014

FCC seeking to monitor newrooms, ignoring pressure results in fines

An FCC commissioner is warning people about an agency study that would bring government monitors into newsrooms and inspect issues like the amount of time spent on the “critical information needs” of Americans in news content. (Emphasis added, BBJ The Dispatch)

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal bringing people’s attention to this study, saying “the government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

Describing participation as technically “voluntary,” ignoring them would not be a wise decision for any news outlet that wants an FCC license.

“The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch,” wrote Pai. “But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

The study itself, laid out last year [PDF], is meant to “understand the critical information needs (CINs) of the American public).”

One of the issues addressed in the study is how these CINs are framed, and whether said framing does enough do give viewers the full context of the story.

There are also a number of questions that they pose in the study to news managers and staffers, including the following:

  • What is the news philosophy of the station?
  • How do you define critical information that the community needs?
  • Who decides which stories are covered?
  • Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers (viewers, listeners, readers) that was rejected by management?
photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

photo Charles Fettinger via Flickr

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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