Groups fight FCC

WASHINGTON: The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and a coalition of 70 media organizations have submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in support of Comcast, which faces $20,000 in fines for allegedly airing unidentified VNRs.

WASHINGTON: The Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) and a coalition of 70 media organizations have submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission in support of Comcast, which faces $20,000 in fines for allegedly airing unidentified VNRs.

Among those organizations signing the letter are a number of state broadcaster associations, and both Fox News Network and Fox Broadcasting Company.

The letter opposes the fines on the grounds that it is an infringement on the First Amendment rights of journalists. It states that FCC action thus far "has begun to drastically chill speech in newsrooms across the country."

"To have the government intervening in the newsroom [about] what will and will not be used in a story... is unprecedented," said Barbara Cochran, president of the RTNDA.

"There's such fear and uncertainty about what the FCC is looking for that rather than use some video selectively and identify it, stations are adopting policies of not using this video at all."

The FCC would not comment on the situation. The RTNDA is waiting for a response from the FCC before it takes any further action.

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