FCC Yanks Invasive Newsroom Questionnaire

The Federal Communication Commission announced it will no longer ask editors and reporters about their newsroom practices in a controversial questionnaire that critics ripped as invasive and having troublesome implications.

Questions in the document for editors and reporters will be “removed entirely” from the questionnaire, FCC spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said in a statement released Friday.

Gilson added that, “Any suggestion that the FCC intends to regulate the speech of news media or plans to put monitors in America's newsrooms is false.”

The questionnaire, which is being promoted by Mignon Clyburn, the daughter of noted Fairness Doctrine proponent Rep. Jim Clyburn, spooked freedom of speech advocates.

“To be clear, media owners and journalists will no longer be asked to participate in the Columbia, S.C. pilot study. The pilot will not be undertaken until a new study design is final. Any subsequent market studies conducted by the FCC, if determined necessary, will not seek participation from or include questions for media owners, news directors or reporters,” Gilson said.  


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