News Content – FCC Censorship

The FCC cannot direct broadcasters in their selection of material for news programs, or prohibit the broadcasting of an opinion on any subject. The Commission also does not review the qualifications of anyone to gather, edit, announce or comment on the news; such decisions are a responsibility of the station licensee. The Commission will not act on complaints that news programming has been falsified, distorted, faked or staged unless it receives extrinsic evidence (evidence apart from program content) of such deliberate conduct by a licensee and/or its management personnel. The Commission recognizes that some abuses may occur, but it believes that without extrinsic evidence of deliberate intent to falsify or distort, any interference by it, the government licensing agency, in the editorial or news judgment of broadcasters would be a greater danger. The Commission has emphasized “the right of broadcasters to be as outspoken as they wish, and that allowance must be made for honest mistakes on their part.”

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