FCC Backs Off Study of Newsroom Editorial Practices [Updated]

GOP said study violated freedom of the press

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UPDATE, Feb. 20: The Federal Communications Commission told GOP lawmakers that the agency has "no intention" of interfering in the editorial decision-making of broadcast stations and newspapers.

In a letter released today, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that the agency is working on revisions to the Critical Information Needs Study, which as part of its conclusions called for researchers to enter newsrooms and inquire about how editorial decisions were made.

"The commission has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters by way of this research design, any resulting study, or through any other means," Wheeler wrote.

But what Wheeler didn't say in his letter is that it would drop the controversial study that had its researchers question the decisions of journalists, producers and other news staff, leaving lawmakers less than fully satisfied.



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