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The FCC has cooked up a plan to place "researchers" in U.S. newsrooms, supposedly to learn all about how editorial decisions are made. Any questions as to why the U.S. is falling in the free press rankings?
As if illegal seizures of Associated Press phone records and the shadowy tailing of the mother of a Fox News reporter weren't menacing enough, the Obama administration is going out of its way to institute a new intrusive surveillance of the press, as if the press wasn't supine enough.
Ajit Pai, a commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission, warned this week in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that a plan to dispatch researchers into radio, television and even newspaper newsrooms called the "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs" is still going forward, despite the grave danger it presented to the First Amendment.
Pai warned that under the rationale of increasing minority representation in newsrooms, the FCC, which has the power to issue or not issue broadcasting licenses, would dispatch its "researchers" to newsrooms across America to seek their "voluntary" compliance about how news stories are decided, as well as "wade into office politics" looking for angry reporters whose story ideas were rejected as evidence of a shutout of minority views.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will soon launch an initiative — the Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN) — “in order to assess whether government action is needed to ensure that the information needs of all Americans are being met, including women and minorities.”
The FCC attempts to justify the intrusive fact-finding mission by asserting that the results are necessary to complete a report that the FCC “is obligated under § 257 of the Communications Act of 1934 … to review and report to Congress on: (1) regulations prescribed to eliminate market entry barriers in the provision and ownership of telecommunications services and information services, or in the provision of parts or services to providers of telecommunications services and information services by entrepreneurs and other small businesses; and (2) proposals to eliminate statutory barriers to market entry by those entities, consistent with the public interest, convenience, and necessity.”
However, Pye quotes the FCC's Ajit Pai: “This claim is peculiar. How can the news judgments made by editors and station managers impede small businesses from entering the broadcast industry? And why does the CIN study include newspapers when the FCC has no authority to regulate print media?”
It's hard to believe this is real. Surely news organizations will not submit to this,
and challenge it on 1st amendment grounds? Orwell is rolling in his grave.
“in order to assess whether government action is needed to ensure that the information needs of all Americans are being met, including women and minorities.
Since when has been up to government to determine who, how, how much, information an individual gets?
Oh my freakin' god!