Mandatory program logs to help commission enforce clean airwaves

The FCC has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing that broadcasters retain recordings for a specified period, such as a 60 or 90 days, to help the commission better police the airwaves for violations of rules barring obscene, indecent and profane programming.

The commission effort comes on the heels of government efforts to rein in the broadcast industry that many in Congress and at the FCC see as having gone too far in some programming.

Specifically, the repercussions of the Janet Jackson Super Bowl half-time show incident led to an avalanche of complaints from the public over indecency on the airwaves. Congress and the commission have responded with proposed rules and laws that would punish offending broadcasters with substantial fines.

The NPRM would move the burden of documenting material that potentially violates strictures against obscene, indecent and profane programming from the public to the broadcaster.

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