Tuesday, February 11, 2014

FCC Wades into the Newsroom

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai has an important piece in today's Wall Street Journal entitled "FCC Wades into the Newsroom." [subscription required].

Even in today's age of media abundance, the FCC can't resist the notion that part of its job is to ensure that the media -- in this case even the print media which, thankfully, it doesn't directly regulate -- are covering certain issues sufficiently and in a balanced way. The Commission says that right now it is only gathering information -- just investigating --  but the history of the FCC shows that often this is a prelude to trying to implement some new regulatory scheme or another.

Many of the FCC's regulations are outdated and don't fit today's competitive communications environment. They should be jettisoned. But those that involve content regulation, or even the threat of content regulation, run up against First Amendment rights and are especially pernicious.

Commissioner Pai's op-ed calls attention to a matter at the FCC that bears close attention.