Indecency Enforcement Policies Spark Strong Emotion From Broadcasters

Several broadcast groups as well as other media advocacy entities are telling the FCC what to do about its indecency policies. The commission asked in April whether it should drop its “fleeting expletives” policy and focus instead on the worst cases.

We reported NAB says the policy needs to be clear. The Radio Television Digital News Association agrees, telling the FCC its indecency policies are too vague.

NPR advocates a restrained approach, saying “lost amid the furor over a few high-profile incidents has been the deleterious effect of the commission’s enforcement efforts on responsible broadcasters.” The public broadcaster supports the FCC’s proposed “egregious cases” approach, saying that would better accommodate the protected speech of public radio broadcasters and better allocate agency resources.

Beasley, Calkins Media, Eagle Creek, Entercom, Galaxy, Greater Media, Journal, Lincoln Financial, Ramar and Stainless combined their thoughts into one filing. They believe the commission should not punish broadcasters in the future for airing a fleeting or isolated expletive and shouldn’t have done so in the past. The commission has never justified the drastic policy enforcement change from 2004, they note.

Public Knowledge believes the FCC should not be regulating content.

Initial comments to GN Docket 13-86 were due this week. The commission is accepting reply comments until July 18.


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