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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Default FCC Plan To Monitor Newsrooms

    FCC official, others warn agency study could stifle freedom of the press

    An Obama administration plan that would get researchers into newsrooms across the country is sparking concern among congressional Republicans and conservative groups.

    The purpose of the proposed Federal Communications Commission study is to “identify and understand the critical information needs of the American public, with special emphasis on vulnerable-disadvantaged populations,” according to the agency.

    However, one agency commissioner, Ajit Pai, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece Wednesday that the May 2013 proposal would allow researchers to “grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”

    He also said he feared the study might stifle the freedom of the press.

    “The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch,” wrote Pai, appointed to the FCC’s five-member commission in May 2012 by President Obama. “But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

    The agency declined to comment. But watchdog groups immediately responded to Pai’s concerns.

    “The FCC seems unable to keep its hands off the news media for any extended period of time,” Jeffrey Eisenach, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told FoxNews.com.

    “It’s the same generic concern of needing a news nanny to make sure we’re all well informed,” he added. “The same people who are concerned about the NSA spying on Americans ought to be concerned about this.”

    The research will include questions about the process by which stories are selected and on how often stations cover “critical information needs" and will be posed through voluntary surveys.

    However, Pai remains wary.

    “Participation is voluntary—in theory,” he wrote. But “the FCC's queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license.”  

    Several months ago, the GOP-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce said the proposed field study showed “startling disregard” for the news media’s freedom and urged agency Commissioner Tom Wheeler to suspend the effort.

    “Given the widespread calls for the commission to respect the First Amendment and stay out of the editorial decisions of reporters and broadcasters, we were shocked to see that the FCC is putting itself back in the business of attempting to control the political speech of journalists,” committee leaders wrote in their December 2013 letter. “It is wrong, it is unconstitutional, and we urge you to put a stop to this.”

    Pai and Eisenach also argued the proposal could lead to the revival of the agency’s 1949 Fairness Doctrine, which resulted in lawsuits throughout the 1960s and '70s.

    The agency stopped enforcing the policy in the late 1980s, and then-FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski eliminated it in August 2011.

    The new project also will include newspaper and Internet content and is expected to start this spring with a field test in Columbia, S.C.

    “This is an extremely troubling and dangerous development that represents the latest in an ongoing assault on the Constitution by the Obama administration,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. “The federal government has no place attempting to control the media, using the unconstitutional actions of repressive regimes to squelch free speech.”

    From Mediaite:

    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?



    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014...1st-amendment/


    http://www.mediaite.com/online/fcc-c...tor-newsrooms/
    Last edited by bklynboy68; 02.19.14 at 06:16 PM.
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  2. #2
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    Yet another waste of your paycheck. The FCC.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

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    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

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  5. #5
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    New Obama initiative tramples First Amendment protections


    If the FCC goes forward, it's not clear what will happen to news organizations that fall short of...
    The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…" But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's "critical information needs." Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future. It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment.

    The initiative, known around the agency as "the CIN Study" (pronounced "sin"), is a bit of a mystery even to insiders. "This has never been put to an FCC vote, it was just announced," says Ajit Pai, one of the FCC's five commissioners (and one of its two Republicans). "I've never had any input into the process," adds Pai, who brought the story to the public's attention in a Wall Street Journal column last week.

    Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. "This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens," said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year. The FCC, Clyburn said, "must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation -- be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other." (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn's home state, South Carolina.)

    The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is "critical" for citizens to have. The scholars decided that "critical information" is information that people need to "live safe and healthy lives" and to "have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities," among other things.

    The study identified eight "critical needs": information about emergencies and risks; health and welfare; education; transportation; economic opportunities; the environment; civic information; and political information.

    It's not difficult to see those topics quickly becoming vehicles for political intimidation. In fact, it's difficult to imagine that they wouldn't. For example, might the FCC standards that journalists must meet on the environment look something like the Obama administration's environmental agenda? Might standards on economic opportunity resemble the president's inequality agenda? The same could hold true for the categories of health and welfare and "civic information" -- and pretty much everything else.

    "An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics," says Pai. "The implicit message to the newsroom is they need to start covering these eight categories in a certain way or otherwise the FCC will go after them."

    The FCC awarded a contract for the study to a Maryland-based company called Social Solutions International. In April 2013, Social Solutions presented a proposal outlining a process by which contractors hired by the FCC would interview news editors, reporters, executives and other journalists.

    "The purpose of these interviews is to ascertain the process by which stories are selected," the Social Solutions report said, adding that news organizations would be evaluated for "station priorities (for content, production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CINs, and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations."

    There are a lot of scary words for journalists in that paragraph. And not just for broadcasters; the FCC also proposes to regulate newspapers, which it has no authority to do. (Its mission statement says the FCC "regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable…")

    Questioning about the CIN Study began last December, when the four top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the FCC to justify the project. "The Commission has no business probing the news media's editorial judgment and expertise," the GOP lawmakers wrote, "nor does it have any business in prescribing a set diet of 'critical information.'"

    If the FCC goes forward, it's not clear what will happen to news organizations that fall short of the new government standards. Perhaps they will be disciplined. Or perhaps the very threat of investigating their methods will nudge them into compliance with the administration's journalistic agenda. What is sure is that it will be a gross violation of constitutional rights.


    Author:

    Byron York

    Chief Political Correspondent

    The Washington Examiner
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

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    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

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    I heard on the radio driving home that the administration has backed off this. Good job Brooklyn Boy.
    EVH 1979: Well, actually it's not much of a vacation, because we run everything ourselves. We design our own album cover, we have to be in the office every day to sign checks - the whole corporation revolves around us. Nothing can be done without our approval. We even have photo approval.

  7. #7
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    FCC Throws In the Towel on Explosive Content Study | National Review Online

    The Federal Communications Commission has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.

    However, a revised version of the survey could raise new concerns: that it will trade its now-kiboshed news questions for a demographic survey that might justify new race-based media ownership rulemaking.

    “[I]n the course of FCC review and public comment, concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate,” the FCC announced in a statement Friday. “Chairman [Tom] Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required. Last week, Chairman Wheeler informed lawmakers that that Commission has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters and would be modifying the draft study. Yesterday, the Chairman directed that those questions be removed entirely.”

    The Critical Information Needs (CIN) survey has been a slow-burning controversy since ever since this reporter first revealed its existence in October 2013.

    First Amendment supporters objected that the design of the survey would have had FCC representatives interrogating newsroom staffers about how they make coverage decisions and select (or spike) story ideas. Many commentators objected to the potential intimidation involved in such a survey.

    The original plan of the survey would also have taken the FCC out of its traditional purview of regulating supposedly scarce airwaves. Because the CIN sought to discover “underserved” consumers in a variety of “media ecologies,” the survey would have included not only broadcast media but newspapers, blogs, and online news.

    However, there have been consistent doubts that the survey was ever going to happen. In a December followup article I found that none of the major broadcast, print, or online media in Columbia, South Carolina –– the market selected for the Critical Information Needs pilot study — had heard from either the FCC or Silver Spring, Maryland-based Social Solutions International (SSI) the FCC’s contractor on the project.

    Columbia media professionals, along with the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, reiterated Friday that the pilot survey never began.

    “No one has been contacted in Columbia,” WLTX General Manager Rich O’Dell told National Review Online Friday, prior to Wheeler’s announcement. “There’s been no official contact by anybody at the FCC or anywhere else.”

    The CIN survey also came under fire from Congress. In December, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.), along with Rep. Greg Walden (R., Ore.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications & Technology, wrote to Wheeler to express their concerns about the survey’s potential chilling effects.

    The combination of congressional pushback and the apparent slow-walking of the survey led to wide speculation that Wheeler was not interested in the CIN proposal — which was concocted under former chairman Julius Genachowski and continued under interim chairwoman Mignon Clyburn.

    The FCC, along with SSI, have consistently declined to comment on the CIN survey. But even before Friday’s walkback, Wheeler had conceded that the project was being revised in a response to Upton’s December letter released Thursday but dated February 14.


    http://www.nationalreview.com/articl...-tim-cavanaugh
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  8. #8
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    MEDIA SILENCE EXPLAINED?: SOROS FINGERPRINTS ON FCC NEWSROOM PROBE

    The real mystery behind the FCC's now abandoned "study" to police American newsrooms is why the mainstream media refused to raise holy hell over it. While Obama's lapdogs refused to bark, it was conservative media who fought for newsroom independence and got the FCC to finally back down. Other than the media's natural obedience to Obama, the fact that the fingerprints of left-wing billionaire George Soros have been found on the FCC study might also help to explain the media's silence.

    CNS News reports that for the first ten years of the last decade, Soros donated more than $52 million to numerous media outlets. In a world where the media is dying a slow, painful suicide (brought about by their own incompetence and corruption), that is no small amount of money. And you can bet that those media organizations that have not benefited from Soros' largesse would someday like to. So why antagonize him?

    The media's hands-off policy with Soros is nothing new. While outlets such as Politico and NBC News obsess over every move made by the libertarian Koch brothers, Soros and his spider-web of influential left-wing political operations (Media Matters, Center for American Progress) almost never receive any kind of media scrutiny. A recent media study found that the ratio of references between Kochs' organizations and Soros' organizations, in news outlets that pose as objective, are literally hundreds to one. Politico actually has Ken Vogel, a former Soros employee, constantly harassing covering the Koch brothers.

    The mainstream media not only shares Soros' hard-left vision, but also benefits or hopes to benefit from Soros' bottomless billionaire well of funding. And in return, even though Soros' Tides Foundation is many times larger than the Kochs, the media look the other way for Soros and turn the Kochs into America's bogeyman. Which brings me back to the FCC proposal to police America's newsrooms.

    As enamored and protective as the media are of Obama, when the Administration was caught spying on journalists last year, his Media Palace Guards still squawked. But still, this attempted move by the FCC, which is probably the scariest move against the media by the federal government since the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, resulted in almost uniform silence by the mainstream media. If alternative and conservative media hadn't been vocal, nothing would have stopped FCC from interrogating and intimidating the press.

    What might explain the media's silence is the looming specter of George Soros. History already proves the media has been reluctant to cross him. Apparently, even the idea of Soviet-style monitors looking over their shoulder couldn’t change that. CNS News helps to explain why:

    Two schools were working with FCC on the project, according to Byron York of The Washington Examiner. The University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy, were tasked by the FCC with coming up with criteria for what information is "critical" for Americans to have. The FCC study would have covered newspapers, websites, radio and television, according to The Washington Post.

    On top of the 1st Amendment problems with this proposal, the schools involved have strong ties to liberal billionaire George Soros' Open Society Foundations and have gotten more than $1.8 million from since 2000.

    The journalism programs at these schools have even more ties to Soros besides their funding, including faculty members writing for university-based publications allied with Soros-funded outlets.

    The schools have collaborated on this project going back at least to 2012. Lewis A. Friedland, who was a "principle investigator" for the FCC on this project, also directs the Center for Communication and Democracy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He gave a presentation at Annenberg in Feb. 2012, on "communication ecology." This was just four months before the schools presented their findings to the FCC.

    There is just no rational explanation for the media's lack of outrage over a federal government "study" that should put a chill down the spine of anyone who understand how important a free press is to protecting democracy.

    It is bad enough when the media pushes to have the freedoms of everyone else crushed by the federal government. But when the media stops fighting for their own freedom, the canary in that coalmine doesn’t have a chance.




    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journal...newsroom-probe
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

  9. #9
    Atomic Punk LLFHS's Avatar
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    Debunked.

    But, it's from your arch-enemies so I'm sure you all will just call bullshit on it anyway.




    A new chapter in the book on paranoid politics started two weeks ago with a Wall Street Journal op-ed. The piece was written by Ajit Pai, a Republican member of the Federal Communications Commission, who warned that the federal government may soon begin “pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.” Pai added that the FCC “plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”

    It took a few days, but eventually the warning caused quite a freak out with Glenn Beck, World Net Daily, the religious right movement, and Fox News. The breathless reports raised the specter of nefarious government “monitors” in newsrooms, which sounded quite unpleasant.

    What in the world are they talking about? What should you say to your crazy uncle who watches Fox all day who will soon email you about this if he hasn’t already? The truth is actually quite dull, but keep reading because there’s a punch line coming up.

    Kevin Drum summarized the backstory nicely.

    The latest example requires a bit of background. The FCC, as you may know, is required by law to be concerned about community needs and whether broadcasters are meeting them. They don’t actually care about this as much as they used to, but the law’s the law, and they still care. So two years ago, while they were prepping their “Section 257 Report” to Congress, they commissioned USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism to produce a literature review of existing research about “the critical information needs of the American public and the barriers to participation in the communications industry that might limit the extent to which critical needs are met.”

    Wait! Don’t fall asleep yet. It gets better.

    Anyway, this is every bit as much of a snooze fest as it sounds like, and no one cared at the time. Nonetheless, the good folks at USC duly convened “a multi-disciplinary team of communication experts, journalists, legal scholars, and social scientists” and produced the requested review. Again, nobody cared. In September 2012, the FCC took the next step, contracting with Social Sciences International to “design a research model that would provide the Commission with a tool for understanding access to and barriers in providing critical information needs in diverse American communities.” Yet again, no one cared.

    I imagine stuff like this makes for a compelling journalism class, but in general, almost no one outside the FCC pays any attention to this stuff. It’s why, as the bureaucratic process unfolded, it caused no controversy whatsoever.

    That is, until two weeks ago.

    Some House Republicans got involved, warning the FCC to stay out of newsrooms. The American Center for Law and Justice, a far-right legal group started by TV preacher Pat Robertson, started telling social conservatives, “Now we see the heavy hand of the Obama administration poised to interfere with the First Amendment rights of journalists.” The White House, the group added, intends to “put monitors in the newsrooms of every major media outlet in the country.”

    None of this is true. None of it is even close to true. But if you rely on conservative media, the politics of paranoia was in full force last week over this one.

    And in response to the uproar, based on largely nothing, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, very likely caught off guard by the controversy that came out of nowhere, scrambled. “By law, the FCC must study the ability of entrepreneurs and small business to compete in the media marketplace. The Commission does not and will not interfere in newsrooms or editorial decision making, FCC spokesperson Shannon Gilson told me last week. “Any suggestion the Commission intends to regulate the speech of news media is false.”

    By Friday, the FCC had given up on the study altogether.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is scrapping a study of media organizations that had riled up opponents concerned that it would impinge upon freedom of the press. […]

    In an announcement that can be found on the FCC website, the agency is changing directions: “To be clear, media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the Columbia, S.C. pilot study. The pilot will not be undertaken until a new study design is final. Any subsequent market studies conducted by the FCC, if determined necessary, will not seek participation from or include questions for media owners, news directors or reporters.”

    The right’s creative paranoia, in other words, is being rewarded.


    http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-s...itor-newsrooms


    I bolded the whole thing to make it all look really important. Bolding seems to be your thing.
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  10. #10
    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    LMFAO Rachel Maddow?

    Ok, let's ignore the actual questions that were being asked and how they overstepped their boundaries. Let's just, as usual for the water carriers, pretend everything is fine and call everyone a liar. UNBELIEVABLE
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS
    But, it's from your arch-enemies so I'm sure you all will just call bullshit on it anyway.
    Thank you for not disappointing me.

    'Cept for the occasional bolded passage. I kinda like those.
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    Atomic Punk bklynboy68's Avatar
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    Hey, you didn't disappoint so why would I ?
     "He has a swaggering retro machismo that will give hives to the Steinem cabal" -Camille Paglia on Donald Trump

    "Make way for the bad guy"- Tony Montana

    'This hamburger don't need no helper"- David Lee Roth

    "I wish Bon Jovi would've given me a call before he recorded all of his hits, because the lyrics would've been smarter, the melodies would've been much more smashing, and they would've sold a lot fewer records." -David Lee Roth

    "My beef is people thinking Bon Jovi is good cuz they sold lots of records to housewives." -tango

    "But being number one doesn’t really mean jack fuck all. We sold twice as many records as other records that year (1984) that landed in the Number One position." ~Eddie Van Halen

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    Indeed? How so? Did I walk into an insidious trap, Mr. Blofeld?
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    To be clear, directly from the FCC, section 257 requires taking a look at two things: "(1) regulations prescribed to eliminate market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small businesses in the provision and ownership of telecommunications and information services or in the provision of parts or services to providers of those services and that can be prescribed consistent with the public interest, convenience and necessity; and (2) proposals to eliminate statutory barriers to market entry by those entities, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity." (http://www.fcc.gov/document/ocbo-ann...esearch-design).

    The problem isn't this, necessarily, but the disconnect between the CIN and this requirement. How does a news organization's story selection process show us anything about barriers--regulatory or otherwise--into the news market? In other words, how does what stories my newsroom decides to use or not to use affect whether or not another news entity can get itself into the market?

    Obviously, if important stories are not getting on the air in an area, it makes perfect sense that more stations should be allowed on the air in an area. But a newsroom's selection process will not highlight any market barriers in an area, which is the purpose of the whole process.

    From what I understand, the process doesn't seem to have a replacement agenda in it, just that it is curious how this stuff happens. Studies are just fine. They might even be interesting. But the problem is the entity that would be looking at the information--the FCC--because they're the entity that could decide not to renew a broadcast license and use this information against a particular broadcaster. It also assumes that the government knows what news is important or not, yet the government has a vested interest in identifying this news as important and this news as not important

    We might all agree that severe weather warnings are important news, but when questions like "What news stories has your editor shot down?" come into play, which was part of the CIN, we're getting into different territory, right?

    Then again, the FCC is in that business already. If we start questioning this, we might start questioning whether the FCC is allowed under the first amendment, deciding who can say what on the air.

    Anyway, this wasn't some Obama thing. This is par for the course for the FCC, no matter who is President. The question wasn't whether we should be looking at market barriers (good) but whether the government should be asking about what stories are important or how newsrooms go about reporting on those stories.

    The overreaction by the right is a sign of hypocrisy. This isn't okay no matter who is President.
    Last edited by lovemachine97(Version 2); 02.25.14 at 02:31 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LLFHS View Post
    Indeed? How so? Did I walk into an insidious trap, Mr. Blofeld?
    lol

 

 

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