FCC's Rules for Ad-Spending Disclosure Not Blocked! It's a Win for Transparency and Democracy
The House Appropriations Committee dropped an amendment to an FCC appropriations bill that would have prevented the agency from requiring that broadcasters post their political ad spending records online. This is a significant win for transparency in the political process.
Groups Urge Court: Don't Cave in on Political Disclosure Online
A half-dozen public interest groups that advocated for the FCC's new rule to move TV stations' political files online, petitioned a federal court to defend the rules in the case brought in May by the National Association of Broadcasters.
Free Press Action Fund Praises House Members for Choosing Transparency in Political Ads
The House Appropriations Committee withdrew a measure that would have prevented the FCC from carrying out its new rule requiring broadcasters to put political ad spending records online. Instead, the House adopted a new measure requiring the Government Accountability Office to study the issue. We are pleased that members of the Appropriations Committee have sided with the public and chosen transparency over secrecy, accessibility over inconvenience.
Supreme Court Rejects FCC Fines for Indecency
The Supreme Court declined to address whether the government still had the authority to regulate indecency on broadcast television, but excused two broadcasters from potential fines for several past violations of rules against cursing and nudity.
Supreme Court Ruling Doesn't Touch FCC's Indecency Rules
The Supreme Court vacated a lower court decision that the FCC's enforcement of its indecency rules was unconstitutional. The ruling is a blow for broadcasters, who were hoping that the high court would toss the FCC's ability to police content on radio and television.
New Report: Cutting Public Media Funding 'Risks the Collapse of the System'
According to a new independent analysis of funding sources for public media, "the loss of federal support for public broadcasting risks the collapse of the system." Here at Free Press we've long made this same case about the crucial need for federal funding, but this report provides striking new evidence of just how bad it would be if this money were cut.
CPB Report to Congress on Alternative Funding Finds No Viable Substitute for Federal Support
If Congress were to zero out federal appropriations to public broadcasting, 54 public television stations in 19 states and 76 public radio stations in 38 states would be at "high risk" of shutting down, CPB reported in Alternative Sources of Funding for Public Broadcasting Stations.
Building a Multi-Platform Media for -- and by -- the Public
Rather than trying to patch a broken system, policymakers should instead consider options that would require broadcasters to give back something more concrete in exchange for access to the public airwaves. An alternative approach: In lieu of public interest obligations, assess an annual spectrum fee on commercial broadcasters.
Public Media Policy, Spectrum Policy and Rethinking Public Interest Obligations for the 21st Century
Throughout the history of U.S. policymaking, access to spectrum and the airwaves has been linked to free speech and expression. The public sphere now includes not just one-way broadcast, but two-way broadband and mobile communications platforms. Given this, spectrum allocation has to be considered not only in terms of how it can serve the historic priorities of the nation's Communications Act -- localism, diversity and competition -- but also the fact that anyone can produce and distribute media in the digital era.
Reading Rainbow Might Stop the iPad from Ruining the Brains of All Children
For a generation now creating advanced things and placed in corridors of power, LeVar Burton was a god-king: both Star Trek's Geordi La Forge, and the guy who taught us to like books on Reading Rainbow. Now the two Burtons are fused -- and it's pretty incredible.
Truthiness and Storytelling
There is no denying how the Web has been used of late by those who want to spread misinformation -- public relations people, activists, people who may tweet and retweet fake information in an effort to target influential Twitter users and change the frame of a debate. But is all the Web one shade -- a darker one at that? And is all investigative journalism honest and factual?
Should Writers Be Allowed to Recycle Material?
Writers often develop ideas for books through magazine articles and use their same ideas in public speaking engagements, but the cross-pollination of content in various media outlets raises questions about the ethics of self-plagiarism in journalism.
Egyptian Journalist Fined for Libel
An Egyptian journalist has been fined for defamation after calling for changes to the editorial staff of Egypt's state-run newspapers.
Chinese Whispers: Citizen Journalism Behind the Great Firewall
The news in China is closely regulated by state-run agencies such as the General Administration of Press and Publication and the State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television. In a society where the Internet is highly controlled, and official news channels are also restricted, hearing an alternative voice can prove difficult.