The FCC has issued guidelines for noncommercial stations who
want to solicit contributions to disaster aide for Japan.
FCC rules prohibit noncoms from engaging in on-air
fund-raising for anyone else but themselves, but the commission has issued
waivers in the past following disasters of "particular uniqueness or
magnitude." Given the combination of a 9.0 earthquake, a tsunami and a
nuclear meltdown, the Japanses situation clearly qualifies.
Generally the FCC issues waivers for fund-raising ranging
from a one-time broadcast to a campaign of a few days.
Any TV station that wants to hold such a campaign should
e-mail Barbara Kreisman. Radio stations should e-mail
Peter Doyle and Michael Wagner.
That e-mail should include "the nature of the
fundraising effort; the proposed duration of the fundraising effort; the
organization(s) to which funds will be donated; and whether the fundraiser will
be part of the licensee's regularly scheduled pledge drive or fundraising
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