FCC Requires New Disclosures for Political Advertising

By Takala, Rudy | Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, January 29, 2016 | Go to article overview

FCC Requires New Disclosures for Political Advertising


Takala, Rudy, Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The


The Federal Communications Commission voted on Thursday to begin requiring cable television, satellite and radio stations to begin uploading information about political advertising to an online database.

To date, the stations have been allowed to maintain physical copies of the required records at their headquarters, an allowance the commission said was antiquated. "This kind of requirement may have made sense in the 'Mad Men' era, but it makes no sense in the digital age," Democratic Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said.

Broadcast television providers have been required to use the online database since 2012. Thursday's vote will expand the rule's application, pending approval by the Office of Management and Budget. The first disclosures should be posted online within three to six months.

Though the change passed the commission in a bipartisan 5-0 vote, Republican Commissioner Ajit Pai said he had reservations about a rule requiring noncommercial educational stations to post lists of donors online. The National Religious Broadcasters, which describes itself as an "international association of Christian communications," came out against the rule.

"Donors may choose to refrain from contributing either because they do not wish to have their privacy violated, or because they fear retaliation for supporting noncommercial radio stations that take unpopular or controversial positions," the group said in a comment on the rule. …

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