Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I previously posted about the investigative journalists at Pro Publica who have had enough of the media conglomerates delaying new FCC rules in Congress requiring local TV stations to post public information about political ads online, so they have taken matters into their own hands. If TV Stations Won't Post Their Data on Political Ads, We Will.
The delay is almost over. The Hill reported that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) said on Tuesday that its political ad rule will take effect on Aug. 2, just in time for the fall's expected barrage of political advertising. FCC's political ad rule to take effect Aug. 2:
The regulation, which the FCC adopted in April, will require television broadcasters to post information about political advertisements online.
TV stations were already required to compile data on how much political campaigns paid for ads, but previously, anyone who wanted access to the information would have to go to the station in person. The rule will require the broadcasters to load the information into a database on the FCC's website.
The commission published a notice in the Federal Register on Tuesday morning that the Office of Management and Budget had given the rule final approval, meaning it will go into effect in 30 days, or Aug. 2.
For the first two years, the rule only applies to network-affiliated stations in the top 50 markets, but after that, all stations will have to comply with the requirements.
The FCC says the rule is part of its effort to put more information online, and watchdog groups hope the rule will shed light on the big money behind political ad campaigns by making the data more accessible.
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[However], the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed suit in May to block the rules. The group argues the regulations are burdensome and that it's unfair to impose requirements on broadcast television that don't apply to its competitors in cable and satellite.
The broadcasters could ask a court to grant a stay, which would block the rules before they go into effect.
Republicans on the House Appropriations Committee briefly added a provision to a federal spending bill that would have stripped the FCC of its ability to enforce the rules, but the Republicans backed down when it became clear they wouldn't be able to enact the restriction in time to stop the regulations.
The Pro Publica effort is still going to be necessary because of the initial limitations of the rule. You can help expose spending that might otherwise remain hidden in your television market. Sign up here.
Let's build a data base for the Phoenix and Tucson media markets. if you are good at research and want to do citizen investigative journalism that the corporate media villagers fail or refuse to do, here is an opportunity for you to do a immense amount of good. Let us know what you find. We'll be happy to share your findings here.