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Walden Sees FCC Study Plan as “Chilling”

House Subcommittee Chair working on bill to stop newsroom study

House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., is keeping up the pressure on the commission about the newsroom study plan.

New FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has said there will be changes to the so-called “Critical Information Needs” study, which was to involve the questioning of journalists and newsroom decision-making procedures. Now, the agency says it still intends to go ahead with the plan, but not question media owners and journalists.

Walden says that’s not good enough, and the study should be “eradicated completely.”

“The very existence of this CIN study is an affront to the First Amendment and should have never been proposed in the first place,” said Walden. “It took nearly 25 years to get the Fairness Doctrine off the books once it had been ‘eliminated’ in 1987, and we will do whatever it takes to ensure this study or any other effort by the government to control the output of America’s newsrooms never sees the light of day.” 

The former radio station owner intends to hold a hearing and introduce legislation to stop the study.