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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:54 am 
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This one speaks for itself!

FCC official, others warn agency study could stifle freedom of the press
Published February 20, 2014
FoxNews.com

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2014/02 ... amendment/

Quote:
An Obama administration plan that would get researchers into newsrooms across the country is sparking concern among congressional Republicans and conservative groups.

The purpose of the proposed Federal Communications Commission study is to “identify and understand the critical information needs of the American public, with special emphasis on vulnerable-disadvantaged populations,” according to the agency.

However, one agency commissioner, Ajit Pai, said in a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece Wednesday that the May 2013 proposal would allow researchers to “grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”

He also said he feared the study might stifle the freedom of the press.

“The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch,” wrote Pai, appointed to the FCC’s five-member commission in May 2012 by President Obama. “But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”

The agency declined to comment. But watchdog groups immediately responded to Pai’s concerns.

“The FCC seems unable to keep its hands off the news media for any extended period of time,” Jeffrey Eisenach, a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, told FoxNews.com.

“It’s the same generic concern of needing a news nanny to make sure we’re all well informed,” he added. “The same people who are concerned about the NSA spying on Americans ought to be concerned about this.”

The research will include questions about the process by which stories are selected and on how often stations cover “critical information needs" and will be posed through voluntary surveys.

However, Pai remains wary.

“Participation is voluntary—in theory,” he wrote. But “the FCC's queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license.”

Several months ago, the GOP-led House Committee on Energy and Commerce said the proposed field study showed “startling disregard” for the news media’s freedom and urged agency Commissioner Tom Wheeler to suspend the effort.

“Given the widespread calls for the commission to respect the First Amendment and stay out of the editorial decisions of reporters and broadcasters, we were shocked to see that the FCC is putting itself back in the business of attempting to control the political speech of journalists,” committee leaders wrote in their December 2013 letter. “It is wrong, it is unconstitutional, and we urge you to put a stop to this.”

Pai and Eisenach also argued the proposal could lead to the revival of the agency’s 1949 Fairness Doctrine, which resulted in lawsuits throughout the 1960s and '70s.

The agency stopped enforcing the policy in the late 1980s, and then-FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski eliminated it in August 2011.

The new project also will include newspaper and Internet content and is expected to start this spring with a field test in Columbia, S.C.

“This is an extremely troubling and dangerous development that represents the latest in an ongoing assault on the Constitution by the Obama administration,” said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice. “The federal government has no place attempting to control the media, using the unconstitutional actions of repressive regimes to squelch free speech.”


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:09 pm 
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Here's another article on this crap! :- The United Socialist States of Amerika, soon to be ruled by a dicktater! Unfreaking believable!

Throughout history one of the first acts of communists, dicktaters and despots has always been to silenced their critics in the news media so this first step toward that goal is to be expected.


The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom
Why is the agency studying 'perceived station bias' and asking about coverage choices?
by Ajit Pai
Feb. 10, 2014 7:26 p.m. ET

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB1 ... 3828260732

Quote:
News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch.

But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

Unfortunately, the Federal Communications Commission, where I am a commissioner, does not agree. Last May the FCC proposed an initiative to thrust the federal government into newsrooms across the country. With its "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the agency plans to send researchers to grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run. A field test in Columbia, S.C., is scheduled to begin this spring.

The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about "the process by which stories are selected" and how often stations cover "critical information needs," along with "perceived station bias" and "perceived responsiveness to underserved populations."

How does the FCC plan to dig up all that information? First, the agency selected eight categories of "critical information" such as the "environment" and "economic opportunities," that it believes local newscasters should cover. It plans to ask station managers, news directors, journalists, television anchors and on-air reporters to tell the government about their "news philosophy" and how the station ensures that the community gets critical information.

The FCC also wants to wade into office politics. One question for reporters is: "Have you ever suggested coverage of what you consider a story with critical information for your customers that was rejected by management?" Follow-up questions ask for specifics about how editorial discretion is exercised, as well as the reasoning behind the decisions.

Participation in the Critical Information Needs study is voluntary—in theory. Unlike the opinion surveys that Americans see on a daily basis and either answer or not, as they wish, the FCC's queries may be hard for the broadcasters to ignore. They would be out of business without an FCC license, which must be renewed every eight years.

This is not the first time the agency has meddled in news coverage. Before Critical Information Needs, there was the FCC's now-defunct Fairness Doctrine, which began in 1949 and required equal time for contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues. Though the Fairness Doctrine ostensibly aimed to increase the diversity of thought on the airwaves, many stations simply chose to ignore controversial topics altogether, rather than air unwanted content that might cause listeners to change the channel.

The Fairness Doctrine was controversial and led to lawsuits throughout the 1960s and '70s that argued it infringed upon the freedom of the press. The FCC finally stopped enforcing the policy in 1987, acknowledging that it did not serve the public interest. In 2011 the agency officially took it off the books. But the demise of the Fairness Doctrine has not deterred proponents of newsroom policing, and the CIN study is a first step down the same dangerous path.

The FCC says the study is merely an objective fact-finding mission. The results will inform a report that the FCC must submit to Congress every three years on eliminating barriers to entry for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the communications industry.

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?

Should all stations follow MSNBC's example and cut away from a discussion with a former congresswoman about the National Security Agency's collection of phone records to offer live coverage of Justin Bieber's bond hearing? As a consumer of news, I have an opinion. But my opinion shouldn't matter more than anyone else's merely because I happen to work at the FCC.

Mr. Pai is a commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission.


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 Post Posted: Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:27 pm 
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And even more on this topic! And surprise, surprise, A DEMOCRAT is going to be in control of this unconstitutional action! :-

New Obama initiative tramples First Amendment protections
By Byron York | FEBRUARY 20, 2014 AT 5:48 PM

http://washingtonexaminer.com/new-obama ... le/2544363

Quote:
The First Amendment says "Congress shall make no law…abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press…" But under the Obama administration, the Federal Communications Commission is planning to send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's "critical information needs." Those "needs" will be defined by the administration, and news outlets that do not comply with the government's standards could face an uncertain future. It's hard to imagine a project more at odds with the First Amendment.

The initiative, known around the agency as "the CIN Study" (pronounced "sin"), is a bit of a mystery even to insiders. "This has never been put to an FCC vote, it was just announced," says Ajit Pai, one of the FCC's five commissioners (and one of its two Republicans). "I've never had any input into the process," adds Pai, who brought the story to the public's attention in a Wall Street Journal column last week.

Advocates promote the project with Obama-esque rhetoric. "This study begins the charting of a course to a more effective delivery of necessary information to all citizens," said FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn in 2012. Clyburn, daughter of powerful House Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, was appointed to the FCC by President Obama and served as acting chair for part of last year. The FCC, Clyburn said, "must emphatically insist that we leave no American behind when it comes to meeting the needs of those in varied and vibrant communities of our nation -- be they native born, immigrant, disabled, non-English speaking, low-income, or other." (The FCC decided to test the program with a trial run in Ms. Clyburn's home state, South Carolina.)

The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is "critical" for citizens to have. The scholars decided that "critical information" is information that people need to "live safe and healthy lives" and to "have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities," among other things.

The study identified eight "critical needs": information about emergencies and risks; health and welfare; education; transportation; economic opportunities; the environment; civic information; and political information.

It's not difficult to see those topics quickly becoming vehicles for political intimidation. In fact, it's difficult to imagine that they wouldn't. For example, might the FCC standards that journalists must meet on the environment look something like the Obama administration's environmental agenda? Might standards on economic opportunity resemble the president's inequality agenda? The same could hold true for the categories of health and welfare and "civic information" -- and pretty much everything else.

"An enterprising regulator could run wild with a lot of these topics," says Pai. "The implicit message to the newsroom is they need to start covering these eight categories in a certain way or otherwise the FCC will go after them."

The FCC awarded a contract for the study to a Maryland-based company called Social Solutions International. In April 2013, Social Solutions presented a proposal outlining a process by which contractors hired by the FCC would interview news editors, reporters, executives and other journalists.

"The purpose of these interviews is to ascertain the process by which stories are selected," the Social Solutions report said, adding that news organizations would be evaluated for "station priorities (for content, production quality, and populations served), perceived station bias, perceived percent of news dedicated to each of the eight CINs, and perceived responsiveness to underserved populations."

There are a lot of scary words for journalists in that paragraph. And not just for broadcasters; the FCC also proposes to regulate newspapers, which it has no authority to do. (Its mission statement says the FCC "regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable…")

Questioning about the CIN Study began last December, when the four top Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked the FCC to justify the project. "The Commission has no business probing the news media's editorial judgment and expertise," the GOP lawmakers wrote, "nor does it have any business in prescribing a set diet of 'critical information.'"

If the FCC goes forward, it's not clear what will happen to news organizations that fall short of the new government standards. Perhaps they will be disciplined. Or perhaps the very threat of investigating their methods will nudge them into compliance with the administration's journalistic agenda. What is sure is that it will be a gross violation of constitutional rights.


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