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Media Policy

The Legal Center's Media Policy Program shapes policies at the nexus between media and politics by promoting the awareness and enforcement of campaign and communication laws through FCC rulemaking proceedings, congressional action, and public education.

Our honorary co-chairs are former presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, and legendary anchorman Walter Cronkite.

Self-Proclaimed Advocacy Group Citizens United Seeks Media Exemption from FEC to Hide Donors
Posted June 9, 2010 by CLC Staff

Today the Campaign Legal Center, together with Democracy 21, filed comments with the Federal Election Commission regarding the Commission’s two alternative draft responses to an advisory opinion request by Citizens United seeking the “media exemption” from federal campaign finance disclosure laws for its “documentary” filmmaking (Draft Advisory Opinions 2010-08). The Commission is scheduled to consider this matter at its meeting tomorrow, June 10.


The Power and Responsibility of Television
Posted July 21, 2009 by Meredith McGehee

As the accolades continue to pour in for CBS newsman Walter Cronkite, many tributes focus on Cronkite’s integrity and his commitment to the news. None were faster to embrace him than the networks and their anchors. But watching the old footage of Cronkite in the tributes was a stark contrast and a sad reminder of how far television news coverage has slipped since “Uncle Walter” stepped away from the microphone.


DeMint’s Red Herring
Posted March 2, 2009 by Meredith McGehee

The re-imposition of the Fairness Doctrine was never seriously considered by anyone --but was a useful red herring for talk radio hosts and those seeking their favor on Capitol Hill.


Our Democracy Is Stronger With More Competition
Posted October 9, 2008 by Meredith McGehee

Why is real political competition so scarce in a democracy? How did competition — which is supposed to be the American way — become the exception and not the rule? Competition is supposed to be our democratic system’s way of holding our elected representatives accountable. Where did we go wrong and what can we do about it?


Does Local TV Care About the News?
Posted June 23, 2008 by Meredith McGehee

June 3 was a historic moment in our nation's history. But if you were watching broadcast television that night, chances are you never would have known it.


Public Interest Obligations and the 2008 Elections
Posted March 7, 2008 by Meredith McGehee

The current presidential race has struck a chord with the American public and driven exceptional turnout at the polls. Given clear choices and competitive elections, the American voter will enthusiastically engage in our democratic process. An engaged broadcaster community meeting its obligations to the public interest can drive this trend, but history has shown this will not happen on a voluntarily basis, at least not on a broad scale.


Broadcasters Should Accept "Wise Use" Option
Posted February 7, 2008 by Meredith McGehee

Yes, broadcasters have First Amendment rights, and the Congress and the FCC must respect those rights. But federal law makes clear that broadcasters must “pay back” the public for their use of the public spectrum by fulfilling specific statutory public interest obligations.


What Viewers Can Do
Posted February 5, 2008 by Meredith McGehee

There are a number of things that citizens can do to start changing the way television covers campaigns. None are quick and nothing will really change without stronger action from the FCC and Congress. But it is important to remember that broadcasters are LOCAL licensees and local viewers can have a voice in the process.


The Media Got it Wrong
Posted February 1, 2008 by Meredith McGehee

The media got it wrong in New Hampshire. They and the pollsters predicted the wrong winner in the Democratic primary. As we move to ”Tsunami Tuesday,” it is worth taking a few minutes to look at what the New Hampshire debacle says about the way the television covers politics and elections and what is wrong with it.


DTV, FCC, NAB and FEC: An Unhealthy Recipe for Alphabet Soup?
Posted August 15, 2007 by CLC Staff

The transition to digital television (DTV) has been going on for more than a decade and the FCC still hasn’t defined the public interest obligations for broadcasters in the digital age. Today the Campaign Legal Center joined 27 other organizations in an FCC filing urging the Commission to rectify this problem. Oddly enough the National Association of Broadcasters filed FEC reports yesterday revealing the trade association spent more than $4.2 million on lobbying in the first six months of 2007.


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