Posts in category: "political ad transparency"
Slow Start to Broadcaster Disclosure, Important Work AheadSubmitted by Cheryl Thu Oct 27 2011 11:31:30 GMT-0400 (EDT)
This morning the FCC started a process to bring broadcaster disclosure to modern technology to an essential public disclosure process. We had understood that this process would start with a more limited "inquiry" proceeding, but that would rapidly move to fruition by the spring so that we would have the benefit of the new and improved disclosure by this summer, in time for the 2012 elections.
We had expected a start in the inquiry proceeding considering new and improved disclosures today. We supported this slower process with the condition of its speedy resolution on all fronts. The Chairman and the Commissioners did not publicly promise a date for the start of this proceeding today. We understand that we should expect to see that item early next week. Without the prompt start of the process, the prompt resolution of it will be impossible. Journalists and the public will be waiting impatiently as next summer's debates in national and local elections and we all hope to see increased news coverage of civic affairs.
We are pleased to hear the Commission emphasize the importance of a searchable database, which is a critical element for the data's usefulness to the public and researchers alike. It was good to see the unanimous recognition by all four Commissioners that moving broadcaster disclosure online is an obvious and fully justified proposal.
UCC OC Inc. strongly urges members of the public, journalists and scholars to come forward to explain in the upcoming FCC process the value this heretofore hidden information to their work. We will be vigilant in pursuing the speedy completion of this proceeding.
Bringing Broadcasters into the 21st CenturySubmitted by Cheryl Mon Oct 24 2011 16:50:04 GMT-0400 (EDT)
United Church of Christ, OC Inc. and its partners in the Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition are looking forward to a FCC vote this Thursday October 27 that will help members of the public understand the role of TV broadcasters by improving the relevance of publicly-available information and moving it online by next summer.
Building on years of fact-finding, the FCC is poised this week to start a proceeding that will quickly modernize the current antiquated system of TV broadcaster public files—which members of the public must currently visit in-person at a station’s studio. “The current system requires someone to travel to an out-of-the-way office, takes valuable staff time of the broadcaster, and produces information of questionable relevance,” said Cheryl A. Leanza, Policy Advisor to the United Church of Christ’s media advocacy ministry, OC Inc.
The new proposed system is based on a streamlined proposal submitted to the FCC over the summer by several members of PIPAC, building on the Commission’s Future of Media Report. The Report recommended bringing broadcasters into the 21st century by moving disclosure out of the file cabinet and on to the Internet. In addition, the proposal will reduce the tracking burden from a 365 days per year requirement imposed by the Bush FCC into a statistically-valid sample consisting of two weeks per quarter.
Under this proposal, citizens and journalists will be able to find out what broadcasters are doing to serve their communities. Broadcasters that are doing a good job will have a modern platform to demonstrate their achievements. The FCC’s new system will be a conduit that brings broadcaster information together in a single, easy-to-use place. The public interest proposal included an option for broadcasters to develop their own categories to showcase content that particularly serves their own communities. A summary of the streamlined PIPAC proposal is available here.
Most important to UCC OC Inc. and its PIPAC allies is that the FCC’s rules become effective by next summer, in time for the extra interest in broadcasting brought about by the 2012 elections. “We will be able to learn more about what broadcasters are doing to cover the elections than in any past cycle,” said Leanza, “this information will help all communities understand who is doing the best job covering our elected leaders in an increasingly crowded media space.”
The Public Interest Public Airwaves Coalition is a loose federation of organizations including: Benton Foundation, U.S. Catholic Conference, Campaign Legal Center, Media Access Project, Free Press, New America Foundation, and the United Church of Christ, OC Inc. represented by Georgetown Law Center's Institute for Public Representation.