Thursday, January 6, marked the one-year anniversary of what NAB President/CEO Curtis LeGeyt recalls as “the attack” on the U.S. Capitol.
No matter how some Americans choose to remember the events that took place on that date in 2021, in the last days of the Trump Adminstration, LeGeyt says that, among the many lessons learned that day, “the public was undoubtedly reminded of broadcasters’ critical role in bringing information to the public, especially during times of crisis.”
LeGeyt shares his thoughts in the following column, distributed by the NAB.
By Curtis LeGeyt
As misinformation runs rampant on social media, local radio and TV stations continue to bring the most trusted news to communities across the country. Millions of Americans have relied on broadcasters to be their eyes and ears during our nation’s most pivotal events.
As I step into the role as president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, I will strongly advocate on behalf of America’s broadcasters and help fulfill their mission of providing trusted local journalism that keeps our communities safe, informed and connected.
During my decade at NAB, I’ve been fortunate to advocate for policies that will ensure a vibrant future for free, local broadcasting and protect the critical journalism they provide on the ground in every town across the country. Whether they are radio or television stations, small market or large, network or affiliate, I’ve seen that broadcasters’ public service commitment is the rule rather than the exception. Local stations provide Americans’ factual news and rise to the challenge during disasters to provide needed emergency information and support.
This has never been more evident than over the past two years as our industry proved indispensable in guiding local communities through the pandemic despite facing our own enormous challenges. This association will continue to work tirelessly to educate Congress and the FCC on broadcasters’ vital local impact.
For broadcasters to continue to provide this service, we must confront the challenges massive technology companies present and the misinformation running rampant on social media. Legislators and regulators are grappling with these important questions, which provide an opportunity for broadcasters to shine as the most reliable source for local journalism and to work with Congress and the FCC to enact policies that preserve this vital role.
With their dominance of the online advertising marketplace and opaque use of algorithms, Big Tech giants are threatening Americans’ access to quality local journalism.
Broadcasters need a level playing field both to fairly compete for audience and advertising dollars with these tech behemoths, and to ensure we are fairly compensated when our locally focused content is accessed through their platforms.
As a result of our hard work together, broadcasters are at the table with policymakers as they consider Big Tech’s outsized impact on local journalism. We also continue to fight outdated but burdensome regulations that impede our ability to innovate. We will continue to work with both sides of the aisle, as broadcasting is neither Democrat nor Republican, but local and trusted.
Visit WeAreBroadcasters.com to learn more about broadcasters’ vital local service.