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FCC in newsrooms: Government could end up monitoring American newsrooms

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Freedom of the press is something that so many take pride in and love having as one of their given rights, but that may soon be a thing of the past. It appears as if the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is starting a pilot program that involves government monitoring of what is said, happens, and goes on in American newsrooms, according to Mediate on Feb. 20, 2014.

Should this attempt of getting the FCC in newsrooms be successful, it could go down in history as the moment the First Amendment was no more.

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Some reports state that the FCC is not looking to just get into newsrooms, but also expand out regulations on newspapers. Print media does not broadcast and has never been overseen by the FCC in any way at all. The FCC has control over the broadcasting licenses of all TV and radio media outlets, but not print, until now.

The stated purpose of the government news monitoring program is to unearth information from radio, newspaper, and television broadcasters about the “process by which stories are selected and how often stations cover critical information needs,” according to the FCC. The federal government agency will also be reviewing “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved” populations.

Eight specific categories have reportedly been selected by the FCC that include "critical information" that they believe local news organizations should be required to cover.

In other words, the FCC and government under the current administration would determine and dictate what information the press should be shared with the public and free world.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has released a letter detailing and clarifying some of what is meant by the FCC going into newsrooms and dictating newspapers. He said that the FCC "has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters."

Wheeler continued on saying that the study is in keeping with the FCC’s duty to “identify and eliminate ‘market entry barriers for entrepreneurs and other small business,’” and to study “whether those barriers affect diversity of media voices."

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