RTNDA wants FCC to close sponsorship study


The Radio Television News Directors Association has joined with other media groups in telling the FCC that sponsorship identification rules already in place are sufficient to cover the increasing use of embedded ads. They say anything above and beyond existing rules would be an unconstitutional intrusion into newsrooms. RTNDA compared the proceeding to the FCC’s look at video news releases, which the organization also deemed unwarranted.

Ed Esposito, RTNDA Chairman, noted: "The FCC’s sponsorship identification rules are clear and have been working appropriately to inform viewers and listeners for many years. Yet there are some who insist that the FCC should engage in heavy-handed regulation, even in the absence of a problem. Broadcast journalists have a keen interest in protecting their credibility with viewers. The FCC should flatly reject any suggestion that it has an appropriate role in overseeing program content to the extent some advocacy groups propose, particularly content over which broadcasters have exercised independent editorial control."

RBR/TVBR observation: A long time ago America decided that a free, advertiser-supported press was preferable to one controlled by the government. That means that the government must use a very light touch when meddling in advertising matters, so it allows the press to function.