11.15.2011 02:15 PM
FCC Seeks Feedback on Public Inspection File Forms

WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comments on its intent to move TV station public-inspection files to the web. Specifically, the commission released a Notice of Inquiry regarding the issues and program lists that TV stations are required to keep in the files, which are now hard copy. The idea is to replace the hard copy files with a standardized online disclosure forms, available to the public on the Internet at a database hosted by the FCC.

“Our goal is to make it easier for members of the public to learn about how television stations serve their communities, and to make broadcasters more accountable to the public, by requiring stations to provide easily accessible programming information in a standardized format,” the NOI stated.

The NOI follows a recent Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from the commission to move the files online. (See “FCC To Move TV Public Inspection Files Online... Again.”) Its first attempt to do so in 2007 was bounced back by the court because, among other things, petitioners considered the forms “vague, overly complex and burdensome.” The NOI released today seeks “to address many of the shortcomings that have been attributed to the form adopted in the 2007 Enhanced Disclosure Report and Order.”

The 2007 forms included categories for national news, local news, local civic affairs, local electoral affairs, independently produced programming, local programming, public service announcements, paid public service announcements, programming for underserved communities, religious programming, “efforts undertaken to determine the programming needs of the community, service for the disabled and emergency information. They were to be filed quarterly for everything aired during the period.

The commission is now considering quarterly reports based on a one-week sample during the period, and fewer categories. The NOI proposes local civics, local electoral affairs, PSAs, paid PSAs, independently produced, local, underserved and religious. A group called the “Public Interest, Public Airwaves Coalition” has proposed a sample form.

Those categories, the commission said, would not comprise a requirement to run that type of programming. The program form would be limited to TV stations at this point.

The matter is considered so complex, that the commission is dedicating a docket just for comments on the proposed form, Docket No. 00-168. Previous comments will be incorporated. Comments for the NOI released this week will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, with replies due 45 days after publication.

~ Deborah D. McAdams, Television Broadcast

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Friday 11:15 AM
DPA Microphones Expands Its d:facto™ Vocal Microphone Range
Wall Street Communications /   Thursday 06:30 PM
Joseph Electronics Announces Kick Box Fiber Breakouts
Zazil Media Group /   Thursday 11:51 AM
Orad Presents 3D Pre-Visualization at NAB Booth SL6317

Featured Articles
Discover TV Technology