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Broadcast groups ask court to repeal FCC rules

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    NMU         WASHINGTON, D.C.         Broadcasting         Oct 4, 2000    

Broadcast groups ask court to repeal FCC rules

  • The FCC’s failure to meet court-imposed deadlines prompted broadcasters to ask a federal court to repeal the commission’s personal attack and political editorializing rules.

The Radio-Television News Directors Association and the National Association of Broadcasters filed an emergency motion to compel action by the Federal Communications Commission after it failed to meet the Sept. 29 deadline on deciding the fate of last remnants of the Fairness Doctrine.

The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington ( D.C. Cir.) ruled on July 24 the FCC had two months to resolve the issue or the RTNDA and NAB could then seek “whatever action they deem appropriate from the court.”

The motion calls for the repeal of the agency’s personal attack and political editorializing rules. The rules require broadcasters to provide equal time on the air for opposing sides of a political issue to present their respective positions. The rules also mandate that broadcasters offer free response time to individuals whose character, integrity and honesty have been attacked in a broadcast.

“This case has been dragging on for 20 years. The time has long since come for the abolishment of these outdated restrictions on broadcasters’ freedom of speech,” said RTNDA President Barbara Cochran in a statement posted on the association’s website.

The motion requests action be taken by Oct. 9.

(Radio-Television News Directors Ass’n v. FCC) TH

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