“RTDNA views this as an important admission by the FCC that questions regarding editorial policies and practices are off-limits to the government,” Director Mike Cavender said in a statement. “We are eager to see the revised study to insure there aren’t topics or questions that could be construed as a ‘back door’ attempt to gather the same type of information.”
FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said Friday that, “Any subsequent market studies conducted by the FCC, if determined necessary, will not seek participation from or include questions for media owners, news directors or reporters.”
However, she added: “Any suggestion that the FCC intends to regulate the speech of news media or plans to put monitors in America’s newsrooms is false. The FCC looks forward to fulfilling its obligation to Congress to report on barriers to entry into the communications marketplace, and is currently revising its proposed study to achieve that goal.”
Unless they kill this study entirely and call it totally unnecessary, we see no end to the FCC meddling in news content, news selection and news management. This is something for the American public to do, not the government. The American viewers choose the news programs they watch and the newspapers they read. Some get their news from Jon Stewart’s Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon. Local newspapers like the Mountain Democrat also have a wide open forum on our Website and print nearly every letter sent to the editor from local readers. Their viewpoints about editorials, columns and ongoing news stories get a thorough airing in the letters and comments.
“The purpose of these interviews is to ascertain the process by which stories are selected, station priorities (for content, production quality and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of eight CINs, and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations,” the study proposal wrote.
Part of this study included a “community ecology study” with individual in-depth interviews, such as, “Probe for all remaining CINs: health and welfare education — including information about schools; transportation … economic opportunities, including job openings, job training and information about small business assistance; environment, including air and water quality, and access to parks and other recreation; civic information, including what civic institutions and opportunities to associate with other people are available; political information, including information about candidates at all levels; information about public policy initiatives affecting your community and neighborhood.”
Anyone who can answer all those questions can probably identify who is vice president of the United States, who wrote the Declaration of Independence and what rights the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects and probably doesn’t know what Justin Bieber was arrested for in Florida or what twerking is. We just wish Obama’s government would quit waving the foam finger at us.