FCC Commissioner Wants to Test the 'Public Value' of Every Broadcast Station
Friday, December 03, 2010
By Susan Jones
FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps joined the FCC on May 31, 2001 and was sworn in for his second term in December 2005. (Photo from FCC Website)
(CNSNews.com) - American journalism is in "grave peril," FCC Commissioner Michael Copps says, and to bolster "traditional media," he said the Federal Communications Commission should conduct a "public value test" of every commercial broadcast station at relicensing time.
In a speech at the Columbia University School of Journalism in New York on Thursday, Copps also said station relicensing should happen every four years instead of the current eight.
"If a station passes the Public Value Test, it of course keeps the license it has earned to use the people’s airwaves," Copps said. "If not, it goes on probation for a year, renewable for an additional year if it demonstrates measurable progress. If the station fails again, give the license to someone who will use it to serve the public interest."
Ever since Barack Obama became president, prominent conservatives have warned about liberal efforts to squelch conservative and Christian talk-radio.
Although Copps has said the FCC will not reinstate the Fairness Doctrine, his prescription for "testing" commercial broadcast stations (see below) will alarm defenders of free speech and free enterprise.