Surprise, Surprise! Your federal government is spending your tax money on yet another study. So far the study has cost $500,000. And what will you get for this money? Every 3 years your Congress will get a report from the FCC with the intent and purpose of “eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.”
As part of this study, the “Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs, or CIN, the FCC plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run” along with assessing “coverage of eight “critical information” subjects, including public health, politics, transportation, the environment and “economic opportunities” and any “perceived station bias,” an “outlet’s “news philosophy” and about how they selected stories.”
Because asking questions about content coverage is going to help eliminate barriers for new entrepreneurs in the media markets? How, exactly, is that going to encourage new business ownership? And is that really the FCC’s job… to help foster new radio and TV stations? I think not!
Let the free market work. If people don’t want to listen to the content, they will change the channel. If there’s not enough diversity on the airwaves, maybe there’s just not enough diversity in listenerships and viewerships? You don’t need to get involved in everything!
The FCC’s job is to regulate licensing of airwaves; TV and radio stations. They don’t need content information. Are they attempting to level the playing field, giving equal time to opposing viewpoints? That’s not clear, but could be done with content information collected.
FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler said that they had “no intention of regulating political or other speech.” —- well, if the commission is granted the “right” to collect information that would make it easy to do that, there’s no guarantee that the next commissioner won’t take advantage of that right. And if you have no intention of exercising the right, then why does it need to be granted? Just take that language outta there!
The FCC has no business poking around in the content of a free press, which is guaranteed in our Bill of Rights. Just back off!