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State ties content strings to public television budget

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  1. Content Restrictions

    NMU         IDAHO         Broadcasting         Jun 20, 2000    

State ties content strings to public television budget

  • A new law requires the Idaho Board of Education to review “controversial” programs on Idaho Public Television.

The state’s board of education must begin monitoring content on Idaho Public Television beginning July 1 under new law enacted in April.

The law appropriates funds to the board of education for the Idaho Educational Public Broadcasting System and requires the board to evaluate, establish and enforce Idaho policies in regard to programming that may be “controversial.” The legislation states that no program should be broadcast that supports, promotes or encourages the violation of Idaho criminal laws.

No other state has such a law.

The bill stems from controversy over the broadcasting of It’s Elementary, a documentary aired nationwide about how the issue of homosexuality is handled by various schools around the country. The Associated Press reported that the debate intensified last week with the national broadcasting of another documentary, Our House, about children reared by gay parents.

According to the Idaho edition of The (Spokane, Wash.) Spokesman-Review, some lawmakers also found some programs devoted to classical art and literature to be indecent.

The board of education is deciding what monitoring measures to implement in its new watchdog role. Measures being considered include on-air disclaimers, programming reviews and a citizen advisory board.

The Lewiston Morning Tribune reported June 16 that 25 supporters rallied at Friendship Square in Moscow, Idaho, to show their support for diverse programming and demand the right to be able to watch what the rest of the country watches.

(H.B. 768) MT

© 2000 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

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