Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

March 14, 2014

JEFFREY McCALL: FCC has more explaining to do to media, TV viewers

Agency halts meddling in free expression

The sense­less study it planned that would have had researchers snooping into the content decisions made in local broadcast newsrooms has been shelved by the Federal Communications Commission. While that is nice to know, the American public now needs to hear what Paul Harvey would have described as “the rest of the story.”

First, it is worth noting this planned intrusion into television newsrooms didn’t just come out of the blue; it had been in the works for almost two years. The public alarm was only sounded recently by FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai, who went rogue and blasted his own commission with an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. Long before that, however, FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn signaled the forthcoming Critical Information Needs (CIN) study. She gave a speech in June 2012 in which she called for collecting such data, urging the FCC to “devote more attention to meeting the critical information needs of all Americans by breaking down barriers.”

The research firm contracted to conduct the study, Social Solutions International, held a meeting in September 2012 with FCC representatives to devise the research plan, which was delivered to the FCC last April. The FCC then issued a public notice of the upcoming study in November. That prompted a protest letter from Congressman Fred Upton, chair of the House Commerce Committee. Upton, along with 15 cosigners, urged newly installed FCC Chair Tom Wheeler to ditch the study, but with no effect. It wasn’t until Pai’s Wall Street Journal blast that the media and public got engaged.

The underlying FCC motivation for studying newsroom practices has little to do with information needs, and everything to do with who owns the media. The CIN study was merely camouflage for finding a way to keep huge media corporations from becoming huger. FCC commissioners, such as Clyburn and former chair Julius Genachowski, have long been concerned big media corporations prevent a diversity of ownership, particularly among women and minorities. While arguments can be made for wanting diverse ownership in media, the FCC has not yet found ones that can withstand legal challenges.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • DAN COATS: New Harmony marks its 200th anniversary Situated between St. Louis and Louisville, New Harmony is a small town in southwest Indiana smaller than 1 square mile in area. Fewer than 1,000 Hoosiers call this serene Posey County community home.Despite its size, the town has monumental significa

    July 31, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Let's put lethal injection to sleep

    It was only a matter of time before this happened again; and I’m sad to say I’m not surprised at all.
    On July 22, the Supreme Court gave the go-ahead for the killing of Arizona death row inmate James R. Wood III, who had filed suit requesting a delay until the state revealed the details of the drugs that would be used to end his life.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: Fleeting canal era had lasting impact on state Editor’s note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. In 1825, the Erie Canal was completed to great fanfare. Cannon fire, parades, balls and speeches celebrated the speed and ski

    July 30, 2014

  • TOM LoBIANCO: Pence, Bayh crowd field with questions In the 2016 political landscape, a pair of the state's political big dogs -- Republican Gov. Mike Pence and former Democratic U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh -- have potential candidates holding their breath and waiting on them. Until Pence says otherwise, he's

    July 29, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: All things Hillary are not news, just distractions This column has nothing to do with who should or will win the presidential election in 2016. It has nothing to do with partisan politics of any flavor. This column does, however, assess how television is oversaturating the "news" agenda with countles

    July 29, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: World is rising up to meet Putin's thuggery Any illusions I had about the progressive nature of Vladimir Putin’s Russian regime quickly dissipated when I returned to my Moscow Grand Marriott room in August 2007. Upon opening the door, I was greeted with the spectacle of my papers and note pads

    July 28, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: A trip to end all trips My wife is planning a very exciting vacation to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary. This was a big surprise to me. Not the vacation part, but the 35 years. I thought it was 34. Right now she is on the back porch, the patio table stacked high with

    July 28, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Happy marriages do not just happen My wife, Marylu, and I met through a mutual friend. My wife had been involved with Campus Crusade at her university, where my friend, Norman, also attended. One Christmas break, Norman invited his friends from church (including me) to a party — along

    July 27, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Truth about inflation Almost nothing in economics seems to confuse people as much as monetary inflation. That confusion leaves an intellectual void into which some of the least credible ideas of the modern world crawl.Goods and services typically have a price dictated in

    July 27, 2014

  • RAY DAY: Some laws will do us in In my opinion, we have made laws that are contrary to what they were intended. And this writer is going to let you in on his thoughts about them. One of the things that has been processed incorrectly is the child abuse law. When you tell the parent h

    July 26, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller