FCC's Copps: No To Fairness Doctrine, Yes To Stricter Public Interest Standards
December 10, 2010 at 2:58 PM (PT)
FCC Commissioner MICHAEL COPPS responded to Rep. JOE BARTON's letter asking for clarification of his "public interest test" proposal for broadcast licenses by asserting, "I do not believe the FCC should reinstate the Fairness Doctrine."
BROADCASTING AND CABLE reports that COPPS sent a letter THURSDAY to the TEXAS Republican answering three questions posed by BARTON, saying in response to BARTON's question about the Fairness Doctrine, "As I said in a speech over a year and a half ago, the Fairness Doctrine is long gone and it's not coming back." Asked whether ascertainment rules should be reinstated, COPPS said, "I do not think is is onerous to expect broadcasters, in exchange for free use of the airwaves, to engage in some level of dialog with citizens of a community of license about how issues of interest are being covered." And on the FCC's role in the process as opposed to a market approach, COPPS said that the Commission is charged with the responsibility of making sure broadcasters operate in the public interest.