The Obama Administration continues the assault on the Constitution and has its sights on the free press.
The FCC is launching a new study to decide, “what news the public needs to hear.” The study will “measure community members’ actual and perceived critical information needs.” In short, the government doesn’t care what the public wants to see or read as news but wants to control what you see and read.
As part of the study, the FCC will go into newsrooms across the country and try to ascertain the “philosophy” of the newsroom. The study, called the Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs (CIN), began in 2013 under acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon L. Clyburn.
The purpose of the study is to determine how news consumers’ gain access to “critical information” along with any negative impact from “barriers to entry” facing news producers. The study is taking place in six markets as a sample size.
The one thing not mentioned is why the FCC needs to conduct a study. Only our government decides to study how people access news when 24 hour news stations exist!
It’s quite simple. I have access to the news by watching one of the 24-hour news channels, reading online newspapers, or turning on broadcast TV at the designated times of 6, 10 or 11. How hard is this to figure out?
Most journalists say the story is not in what is said but what is not said. I can’t imagine the logic of 24 hour news stations escape even the dimmest bulb politician. So the question remains why does the government want to enter newsrooms and investigate?
I know this is not as exciting as reality TV, WWE or admiring the biceps of the Canadian Men’s Curling team but the ramifications can be great. You can dismiss this as an over-reaction or hysteria but this is the part that frightens me.
The study design calls for the FCC to interview management and staff at broadcast outlets to determine how stories are selected. Why? The study will also evaluate “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.
What exactly is an underserved population? Does the government want news stations to dedicate air time or print space to specific demographic groups? Talk about profiling.
And the government is concerned about news bias and wants to determine if it exists. Really? You need a study to tell you most news media leans left and Fox News leans Right? The answers to this survey seem obvious so why do it?
The semi-good news is the new chairman, Tom Wheeler, is retreating somewhat under pressure from a number of Congressional republicans. A spokesperson for the FCC said the study design is under review. The spokesperson said all the right things about the FCC not wanting to interfere with news coverage but can we really trust an Obama Administration that routinely tramples our rights?
What purpose is served by this study other than to control the news you listen to, read, or see!