House Committee Probing FCC Newsroom Snooping Plans
February 21, 2014 - 6:37 am
A member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee said the panel should soon launch hearings about the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to monitor newsrooms.
The FCC says the study would bring government monitors into newsrooms to “understand the critical information needs (CINs) of the American public)” including “how these CINs are framed, and whether said framing does enough do give viewers the full context of the story.”
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai warned of the study in a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, saying “the government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.”
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) told Fox she has “a lot of questions.”
“Why is the FCC pursuing this study? What information are we going to gain with it? And what will happen with the results in the end? I believe so strongly in the First Amendment. This is one more attempt by the Obama administration to trample on the Constitution,” she said.
Ellmers said the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology “reached out with a letter to Chairman Wheeler on this issue.” The study is expected to cost upwards of $1 million. “Not only are we infringing on Americans rights as a country and the ability for free speech, but we are actually making the taxpayers pay for it as well,” she said.
“This is a multimedia study. They are saying it’s critical information needs. There again, so subjective. What will the commission do with the information? How will they utilize it? Again, it’s the commission that licenses broadcasting. You know, this is something that could be very potentially dangerous for America. This is just the freedom doctrine 2.0 — Fairness Doctrine 2.0.”