FCC should maintain existing sponsorship rules, says RTNDA

Existing FCC rules covering the disclosure of sponsorship of broadcast content are sufficient and new rules under consideration would represent an unconstitutional intrusion into broadcast newsrooms, the Radio-Television News Directors Association told the commission in comments filed last week.

The RTNDA, which filed the comments in response to a commission notice of inquiry and notice of proposed rulemaking, contends that existing rules adequately disclose to viewers broadcast content has been paid for, including embedded advertising.

As with the commission’s proceeding on the use of video news releases, the RTNDA cautioned the FCC not to open the door to, or otherwise legitimize, government regulation of the content of newscasts because of misplaced concerns about commercialism.

The association’s comments focus specifically on allegations suggesting so-called hidden commercials are a routine part of local news programming and question the validity of a study submitted to support this contention.

The RTNDA has asked the FCC to reject the imposition of new sponsorship identification requirements and government scrutiny of news content and to end the current inquiry.

For more information, visit www.rtnda.org.