Loading
Laws must ensure broadcasters serve public interest, says US bishop

.- Broadcasters should be accountable to the public and allow local and religious programming in exchange for their free use of “tens of billions of dollars worth” of publicly owned airwaves, said the U.S. bishops in an Oct. 14 letter to a Congress committee. The bishops have recommended that public interest obligations for broadcasters must be included in several bills that are scheduled for debate Oct. 19 and that would update the country’s communications laws.

“Today, even as the broadcasting industry continues to benefit from its subsidized use of the public airwaves, broadcasters’ observance of meaningful public interest obligations has declined,” wrote Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson, chairman of the U.S. bishops’ Communications Committee, in a letter to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK).

“We ask that, in exchange for the use of tens of billions of dollars worth of new spectrum rights, broadcasters be required to put forth a substantial effort to provide programming that better serves the public,” he wrote.

According to current law, broadcasters are licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to use the airwaves for free in nominal exchange for serving the “public interest, convenience, and necessity.”

A defined set of “public interest obligations” were rigorously enforced by the FCC in the past but since the early 1980s, the bishops observed, Congress and the FCC have pursued a much more deregulatory approach.

“The rapidly growing consolidation of the media industry has allowed companies to ignore their obligations to serve the public interest,” Bishop Kicanas said. “As a result, there are fewer broadcast stations that are willing to provide local and religious programming.”

The USCCB has collected anecdotes from “a significant number” of dioceses, which have found it increasingly difficult to place their programming on local stations, the bishop noted.

“The bishops are concerned that local broadcasters’ programming decisions regarding religious and educational programming are more deeply rooted in their desire for commercial gain, rather than in serving their communities’ interests,” Bishop Kicanas said. “I respectfully urge you to reconfirm broadcasters’ obligation to serve their local communities of license with programming that responds to the religious needs and interests of the local community.”


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: