TV and Radio Networks Fight Public Disclosure of Income from Political Ads

Tuesday, February 07, 2012
An effort by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to create more transparency for political advertisements is being opposed by television and radio networks.
 
Under current law, broadcasters must maintain a “public inspection file” that the public can review in person to learn, among other things, who is buying airtime for political ads.
 
The FCC now wants to require TV and radio stations to make these files available online so citizens can obtain the information without having to travel to the stations.
 
But organizations like the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) object to the new rule, claiming the posting of the file content on websites would prove to be “a new burden” and, in a particularly lame argument, would “provide no clear new benefit to the public.”
 
Between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2011, the NAB and its employees donated $549,450 to the campaigns of members of the U.S. House of Representatives and, over the past six years, $383,423 to members of the U.S. Senate.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
 
To Learn More:
Local TV News, Meet the Internet (by Steven Waldman, Columbia Journalism Review)

Proposed Regulations (Federal Communications Commission) 

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