Federal Communications Commission
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is "an independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. The FCC was established by the Communications Act of 1934 and is charged with regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable. The FCC's jurisdiction covers the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. possessions." 
As of May 2009: 
On April 29, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Mignon L. Clyburn as an FCC Commissioner. Clyburn has served on South Carolina's Public Service Commission since 1998. She also chairs the Washington Action Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and formerly worked as the Publisher and General Manager of The Coastal Times, a weekly newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina. 
On March 3, 2009, President Obama nominated Julius Genachowski to Chair the FCC.  Genachowski is a business executive with experience in telecommunications and technology issues.  As of early May 2009, "Genachowski's nomination remains on hold in the Senate. Republican senators indicating they want him paired with a Republican nominee, but have yet to settle on a choice." 
FCC and tobacco
In the late 1960s, the FCC, prodded by the legal action of antismoking activist John F. Banzhaf, III, applied the Fairness Doctrine to cigarette promotion, requiring that equal time be provided on television and radio for anti-smoking commercials, as a counterbalance to ads promoting cigarettes. In 1970, Congress banned cigarette advertising from radio and television, effective January 1971. (L. White Merchants of Death, 1988) (See Banzhaf v. FCC, 405 F. 2d 1082 (D.C. Cir. 1968) affirming FCC ruling that radio and television stations must devote a significant amount of broadcast time to the case against smoking.)
2008 House investigation
In early 2008, the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee launched an investigation of the FCC and Chair Kevin Martin's leadership of the agency. In addition to looking at "FCC regulatory procedures to determine if they are being conducted in a fair, open, efficient, and transparent manner," the investigation will "address a growing number of allegations received by the committee relating to management practices that may adversely affect the agency's operation," stated a letter from the committee. According to Reuters, one reason for the inquiry into Martin's leadership was that he had been "sharply criticized by lawmakers from both political parties for insisting that the agency hold a vote to change media ownership restrictions, particularly heading into the final full year of the Bush administration." 
Articles and resources
Related SourceWatch articles
- Consumer Telephone Records Protection Act of 2006
- Fake TV news
- Media and Childhood Obesity: Today and Tomorrow
- Product placement
- Video news releases
- "Commissioners," FCC website, accessed May 2009.
- Press release, "President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts," White House Office of the Press Secretary, April 29, 2009.
- Press release, "President Obama Announces More Key Appointments," White House Press Office, March 3, 2009.
- Todd Shields and Julianna Goldman, "Julius Genachowski Said to Be Obama’s Choice for FCC Chairman", Blooomberg, January 12, 2009.
- Amy Schatz, "[SB124105025793571073 Mignon Clyburn Nominated to FCC]," Wall Street Journal (sub req'd), April 29, 2009.
- Julie Vorman, "House panel launches probe of FCC practices," Reuters, January 8, 2008.
- FCC Organizational Chart
- "Federal Communications Commission" in the Wikipedia.
- U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, "Assessing the Communications Marketplace: A View from the FCC," February 1, 2007. Witnesses include all five FCC Commissioners. Archived webcast here (requires Real Player): rtsp://video.webcastcenter.com/srs_g2/commerce020107.rm
- "FCC Public Notice to Remind Broadcasters and Cable Operators of Video News Release (VNR) Requirements and Seeking Comment on VNR Use", Federal Communications Commission, April 13, 2005.
- "Statement of Commissioner Michael Copps", Federal Communications Commission, April 13, 2005.(On Video news releases).
- "Statement of Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein", Federal Communications Commission, April 13, 2005.(On Video news releases).
- Jonathan S. Adelstein, "Statement of Jonathan S. Adelstein Commissioner, Federal Communications Commission", U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, May 12, 2005. (On Video news releases).
- "The Testimony of Mr. Austin Schlick Acting General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission", U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, May 12, 2005. (On Video news releases).
- David Barstow, “Report Faults Video Reports Shown as News”, New York Times, April 6, 2006.
- “Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed... How Corporate-Funded Propaganda Is Airing On Local Newscasts As ‘News’”, Democracy Now!, April 6, 2006.
- “FCC Commissioner Says Broadcasting VNRs May Violate Law,” Democracy Now!, April 6, 2006.
- John Eggerton,. “RTNDA Tells Stations To ID All VNRs,” Broadcasting & Cable, April 6, 2006.
- John Eggerton, “Free Press Outs Unidentified VNRs,” Broadcasting & Cable, April 6, 2006.
- David Folenflik, “Video News Releases Common in Local TV,” National Public Radio, April 6, 2006.
- Felix Gilette, “News that Can Use You,” CJR Daily, April 6, 2006.
- Jonathan Make, “Adelstein, Copps Denounce Video News Releases,” Comm Daily, April 7, 2006.
- Jeremy Pelofsky, “US FCC official seeks probe of video news releases,” Reuters, April 6, 2006. (The Reuters story was reprinted in numerous locations including ABC, Washington Post etc).
- Neil Roland, “TV Stations Air Corporate Pitches Disguised as News,” Bloomberg News, April 6, 2006.
- Joe Flint, "TV Stations Still Can't Resist Pre-Packaged Video News. Ethical Standards Soften As Cost Pressures Increase," Wall Street Journal, April 26, 2006.
- Kevin E. Foley, "Are Video News Releases All Bad?", Broadcasting & Cable, May 1, 2006.
- Diane Farsetta, "Let's Label "Canned" News Video", Broadcasting & Cable, May 15, 2006.
- Neil Roland, FCC's Martin Orders Probe of TV Stations That Air Ads as News, Bloomberg online, May 25, 2006.
- FCC Probling Complaint on Video News Releases, Reuters, May 25, 2006.
- Jim Puzzanghera, FCC Looks at Stations' Use of PR Videos; The corporate releases aired on news programs without disclosure, a nonprofit group says, Los Angelese Times, May 26, 2006.
- Christina Hoag, FCC investigates video releases; The Federal Communications Commission is investigating the airing of a video news release by WBFS-TV UPN 33, Miami Herald, May 26, 2006.
- Charles Babington, "FCC to Feel Unfamiliar Heat From Democrats," Washington Post, January 26, 2007.
- Charles Babington, "Democrats Urge Tighter FCC Rules," Washington Post, February 2, 2007.
- Stephen Labaton, "Democrats Press F.C.C. Chief on Enforcement," New York Times, February 1, 2007.
- David Hatch, "Democrats Criticize Martin On Merger, TV, Web And Style," NationalJournal's Congress Daily, February 1, 2007.
- "FCC Plan Would Aid Big Media," AP, November 8, 2007.
- Peter Kaplan "Senators Seek 90 Day FCC Ownership Rule Delay," Reuters, November 8, 2007.
- John Eggerton, "Boehner, Conservative Groups Weigh In on Localism: FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Hears from Rep. John Boehner, Americans for Tax Reform, Christian Coalition, Citizens United," Broadcasting & Cable, June 13, 2008.
- Diane Farsetta, "Stealth Marketers Gone Wild: Will the FCC Act?," PR Watch, September 23, 2008.
- John Eggerton, "Media Cos. Plug Product Placement at FCC: National Media Providers: FCC lacks jurisdiction; FCC rules already in place to prevent most abuses," Broadcasting & Cable, September 23, 2008.
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