The acronym of the project about to be kicked off is CIN and it stands for Critical Information Needs. The FCC has a research model to study this topic with an eye toward assuring that Americans are getting the news and information they need, regardless of location, ethnicity or any other factor.
Acting Chair Mignon Clyburn stated, “The FCC has a duty to make sure that the industries it regulates serve the needs of the American public no matter where they live or what financial resources they have. The research design we announce today is an important next step in understanding what those needs are, how Americans obtain the information critical to their daily lives in a dynamic technological environment, and what barriers exist in our media ecologies to providing and accessing this information.”
The model from the study comes from Social Solutions International. It will look at a wide variety of media outlets, including television, newspapers, radio and the internet.
The television study will analyze a full day of news content, one day per month, on a randomized basis. For example, a range of stations will be monitored on one of the Mondays in January; then a similar sampling will be taken on a random Tuesday in February, and so on.
The radio study will be limited to News and Talk stations using a pattern similar to that used for television stations.
Newspapers will also be studied over a spread-out “week” with emphasis on making sure large, medium and small media markets are represented.
The internet portion of the study will be based on an as-yet unidentified selection of “TV station websites, university websites, local school system websites, blogs, local radio station websites, and state/local government websites.”