As a constituent, I urge you to support an alternative solution to the Fairness Doctrine that is being proposed by CeaseSPIN.org (CeaseSPIN, Inc.), a non-partisan, non-profit, media reform charitable organization. The alternative solution lays out how a News Quality Rating System will improve the quality of news without infringing on free speech and free press rights of broadcasters. The details of the proposal are available on www.ceasespin.org.
The Public Service Obligation
I, as well as many other Americans are aware that broadcast media companies are required to service a "public interest" obligation for free use of the public's broadcast spectrum. One way that they can service this obligation is to rate their news products based on established journalism ethics standards. Once rated, they can share this information with the public by publishing the rating information during the news segment broadcast. A great benefit can be derived from turning journalism's professional ethics code into a consumer news content labeling program. Journalists can benefit from having this solution. It strengthens their hand in cases where they want to act ethically against an unethical employer.
CeaseSPIN.org is not advocating a draconian approach to addressing the problems with news reporting accuracy. But, I join them in advocating that journalists do what they were professionally trained to do, unobstructed by the oppressive dictates of their media conglomerate employers, who are motivated, very often by corporate profit motives, if not by greed and avarice.
Introducing a News Quality Rating System will introduce journalistic standards and on-air content labeling to benefit the viewer, similar to how Motion Picture Assoc. of America (MPAA) rates film content. The news segment labeling is a per news story rating regime that simply makes the editorial process more transparent to consumer/viewers. This results in structural regulation around the editorial process, but not content regulation, which is a very important distinction. It provides a public interest benefit with a consumer/market based solution, that remediates the "unfair media" problem, that many Americans, like myself, want resolved.
Please review the proposal (at http://www.ceasespin.org) and support legislation that incorporates the creation of this new means of advising citizens of the level of ethical journalistic rigor associated with each news story that is broadcast on the public airwaves.
Congress must resolve the problem of biased toxic news reporting before the next election cycle. We the People want this solution NOW.
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