Concerns Over FCC Request to Place Investigators in Newsrooms
Updated: Thursday, February 20 2014, 06:48 PM EST
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) says it wants to place investigators in newsrooms to assess how editorial decisions are made, and whether media outlets are biased. Critics call it an extreme violation of Freedom of the Press.
"They've stepped into a place where they really have no business being in," Dr. Elliott King, media professor at Loyola University said. "There's absolutely no mechanism, at all for the federal government to do anything to control news in the United States."
The FCC wants to dispatch investigators into television and radio stations across the country to ask question such as, 'what is the philosophy of the station,' and 'who decides which stories to cover.'
"Whenever I hear of government going into a newsroom to do anything other than deliver coffee I become frightened because government should not as a general rule be any part of journalism,” American University Professor of journalism ethics and communication law John Watson said.
Now the FCC is defending its plan. The chairman says there is no intent to regulate the speech of journalists or broadcasters, but instead to try to determine what barriers affect diversity of media voices.
"By law, the FCC must study the ability of entrepreneurs and small business to compete in the media marketplace," an FCC spokesperson said in an emailed statement to FOX45. "The Commission does not and will not interfere in newsrooms or editorial decision making. Any suggestion the Commission intends to regulate the speech of news media is false. The draft questions in the study are being revised to clear up any confusion."