In recently filed comments on the FCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on EEO Compliance and Enforcement, the NAB suggests a new method for promoting diversity in the broadcast industry instead of reworked or increased rules and regulations, which the organization says are overly burdensome on broadcasters.
Claiming that broadcasters already take appropriate actions toward promoting diversity in the industry because of the benefits it inherently provides both their business and communities they serve, NAB criticized the current rules, saying that they “push the outer limits of constitutionality,” put significant burdens of time and expenses on stations to fill out required paperwork and claiming that data from the last 17 years say that the regulations are effective as possible.
NAB thinks a new, streamlined process could be beneficial for diversity efforts and on what is expected of broadcasters.
“Instead of taking the easy, familiar path of focusing on additional rules and regulations, the commission should center its efforts on two areas in particular,” the statement reads. “First, the commission should take pro-active, concrete steps that will actually increase employment diversity,” like raising public awareness for equal employment opportunities, expand industry education and facilitate connections among job applicants and employers. “Second, the commission should take steps to reduce unnecessary burdens on broadcasters, especially small stations,” specifically citing audits on stations regarding EEO rules.
“Rather than writing new rules, the commission should join the NAB in rolling up our sleeves and making a real dent in the challenges broadcasters face in hiring the most diverse workforce possible.”
The FCC was required by the federal court in its upcoming quadrennial review of media ownership rules to consider the impact of its policies on broadcast diversity. Related, the U.S. Third Circuit Court recently vacated earlier deregulation efforts dealing with media ownership diversity by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, saying the commission failed to adequately gauge the impact.
Read the full comments from NAB here.