The Campaign Legal Center was celebrating the FCC's announcement that cable, satellite and radio public files will have to be uploaded to an FCC database as of June 24.
CLC has been pushing for better access to political files. Broadcasters have had to post their public files to an FCC database since 2012.
"By putting these files online, the public and the media will be able to more easily access information about the political advertisements running on cable, radio and satellite as required by long-standing statute," CLC said. "Included in the political file is information on the rates charged for political advertisements, the times when the ads ran and the sponsors of the ads."
“Extending the disclosure requirements to cable, satellite and radio was the next logical step to ensure that the long-required public inspection files are easily accessible,” said CLC policy director Meredith McGehee. “Our joint efforts to drag the FCC into the 21st Century began more than five years ago. Having these public files stuffed in backroom file cabinets at the headquarters of media providers in the age of the Internet makes no sense.”
CLC will continue to push the FCC to require the documents be a standard, machine-readable form, which is not currently the case. "We continue to urge the FCC to expeditiously move away from PDFs and replace them with a database that is searchable, sortable, and downloadable,” said McGehee.
Actually, the FCC's own electronic comment filing system (ECSF) converts comments to PDFs, but it is in the process of overhauling that system.
Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.
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