Washington, D.C. - Apr 24, 2008 - In its recent Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Federal Communications Commission concluded that the record in the localism proceeding (MB Docket No. 04-233) revealed a substantial need for greater public understanding of broadcaster obligations, and of the procedures by which the Commission enforces those obligations. The Commission expressed its desire to better educate members of the public about the tools available to them, should they believe that their local broadcast stations are not fulfilling their service obligations. To that end, the FCC directed the Media Bureau to update The Public and Broadcasting, a publication that all broadcasters must maintain in their public inspection files. The Commission also stated that it would establish a contact point within the agency for public inquiries about broadcast matters.
The updated manual is now available. It includes links to places on the FCC's website that offer additional relevant information as to the matters discussed, and it provides an overview of the FCC's regulation of broadcast radio and television licensees, describes how broadcast stations are authorized, and explains the various rules and policies relating to broadcast programming and operations with which stations must comply, including the obligation to serve their local communities. It also explains how members of the public can become involved in assessing whether local broadcast stations are complying with these requirements. The publication is also intended to make the public aware of FCC procedures and the tools at their disposal, in the event that they conclude that any of their local stations do not meet these responsibilities.
FCC Rules require all broadcast stations to keep a copy of the most recent version of the document in their public inspection files. Stations must also provide a copy of the document to any member of the public that requests one. Download the latest version at www.fcc.gov/mb/audio/decdoc/public_and_broadcasting.html.
In addition, two Broadcast Information Specialists, one in the Media Bureau's Audio Division and one in its Video Division, will serve as contact points for the public, accessible via toll-free telephone numbers, by fax or by e-mail. These individuals will be available to provide information to members of the public who may wish to become involved in the Commission's processes. They will answer questions about how to do so, including inquiries about our complaint or petitioning procedures or the filing and status of the license renewal, modification or assignment or transfer application for a particular station. The Broadcast Information Specialists can be contacted as noted below:
866-267-7202 (voice) or 877-479-1433 (TTY)
866-918-5777 (voice) or 866-787-6222 (TTY)