Skip to main content

Pai Praises Broadcast Response to COVID-19

FCC chairman Ajit Pai continues to heap praise on communications companies for their response to COVID-19

The chairman not only issued his thanks in a lengthy release Monday (April 6), but included a laundry list of broadcast efforts, from social distancing PSAs and educational programming to fundraising and the fact that journalists put themselves in harm's way to keep the nation informed about the virus. 

Among those getting an individual shout out were Fox for partnering with iHeartMedia to raise millions for relief, ABC for social distancing PSAs and special programming, CBS for raising funds for students and families in L.A. and donating medical supplies and meals to hospitals, NBCU for PSAs and expanding local news to cover the crisis, PBS for educational programming, and many more. 

Related: Virus Crisis Bringing Young Viewers to Local Broadcast

“As always, in times of emergency, broadcasters are stepping up to serve their communities and help keep people informed, healthy, and safe,” said Pai in a statement. “From airing PSAs on social distancing to supporting distance learning with educational programming, broadcasters are going above and beyond the call of public service. I want to especially recognize those reporters who are on the front lines, often putting themselves in harm’s way, to obtain vital information on COVID-19 to ensure their viewers and listeners have the most up-to-date and accurate information. We’ve seen time and again that broadcasters’ efforts to keep their communities informed during emergencies help save lives, including when it comes to this pandemic.” 

The chairman even included links to the National Association of Broadcasters' coronavirus toolkit and PSAs and pointed out that broadcasters have run tens of millions of dollars worth of the spots for free. 

Last Month, Pai gave a similar shout-out to ISPs, and compiled a list of their accomplishments. Broadband has been getting most of the attention during the virus since its two-way connection is the primary antidote for social distancing when it comes to things like teleworking, telehealth, teleconferencing and more.