Editorial: A Little Clarification

We believe the FCC showed the better part of valor in clarifying what its community needs study is and what it isn’t.

We see no need for House Republicans to hold hearings or threaten legislation to block that study, particularly since no such bill would pass. But the FCC invited some of that reaction with a pilot study that was about to query journalists on why they cover stories.

Government officials, even through the proxy of an independent study, should avoid even the appearance of trying to influence journalists whose jobs they impact greatly through their power over FCC licenses.

We believe the study was meant to gauge the impact of media ownership on diversity, as FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said last week, but this is not the way to go about that.