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NAB: Shutdown Can’t Affect Political File Viewing

Broadcast trade group advises broadcasters to find workaround until FCC’s website is restored

Stations must still make their political files available to the public, even during the government shutdown.

That’s what NAB recommends.

The trade group says in “The NAB Pulse,” that while television stations cannot update their online files that are maintained on the commission’s database, stations should “find other means of making political file information available to the public until the FCC’s website is restored.”

Radio’s political files are still maintained at the station as part of its public file. While the commission had hoped to extend its online file system to radio, Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake confirmed to Radio World at the spring NAB Show that agency budget cuts due to sequestration won’t make that a possibility for a while.

Currently, only the top four TV stations in each of the top 50 markets are required to put their political file into the FCC’s online database.

In adopting the online political file requirement, the FCC stated, “if the commission’s online public file were to become temporarily unavailable, stations will be required to provide any information pertaining to the political file not just to candidates, their representatives and other political time buyers, but directly to any member of the public as well.”