Newsroom Study Sent Back For Tweaking After Trial Balloon Launch

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Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai, FCC Commissioner

The newsroom survey planned by the FCC and leaked by one of its own commissioners, is on hold until they come up with a new “study design”. It will be tweaked and no reporters, editors or owners will be interviewed. They still plan to survey, however. It is not clear as to why they are including print media which is clearly not in their purview.

The newsroom study is a serious threat to the First Amendment. The government has no place in the newsroom though we know they already are in the newsroom to some degree.

Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh said that the news media wouldn’t mind having monitors in the newsroom and he wouldn’t be surprised if journalism schools were behind it. Turns out, he was right.

“If it turns out here that a dean or an entire j-school is behind this idea, it won’t surprise me a bit,” said Limbaugh on his show Friday. “And guess what? There are two, ladies and gentlemen. The FCC commissioned the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Communication and Democracy to do a study defining what information is ‘critical’ for citizens to have.”

“The scholars decided that ‘critical information’ is information that people need to ‘live safe and healthy lives’ and to ‘have full access to educational, employment, and business opportunities’ …”

The universities both have close ties to George Soros, the socialist billionaire and, according to CNS News, have receive $1.8 million in donations from Soros since 2000. A number of faculty members write for university-based publications allied with Soros-funded outlets.

Also from CNN News:

The schools have collaborated on this project going back at least to 2012. Lewis A. Friedland, who was a “principle investigator” for the FCC on this project, also directs the Center for Communication and Democracy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He gave a presentation at Annenberg in Feb. 2012, on “communication ecology.” This was just four months before the schools presented their findings to the FCC.

Tracking the $8.5 billion Soros-foundation world is challenging because he funds so much and many of those organizations then partner or even fund one another.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison got a whopping $1,672,397 from Soros between 2000 and 2012. The university also offers OSI-sponsored grants, scholarships and fellowships. Friedland also heads Madison Commons, a liberal journalism group “powered by” the university’s School of Journalism. Madison Commons, in turn, is a project of the university but supported in part by American University’s J-LabAU, including its Cairo campus, has received $588,395 from OSF since 2008…read more at CNN News

The FCC was quick to tell GOP lawmakers that it has “no intention” of interfering in the editorial decision-making of broadcast stations and newspapers.

In a letter released Thursday, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler confirmed that the agency is working on revisions to the Critical Information Needs Study, which as part of its conclusions called for researchers to enter newsrooms and inquire about how editorial decisions were made.

“The commission has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters by way of this research design, any resulting study, or through any other means,” Wheeler wrote.

On Friday, The Federal Communications Commission announced it was putting on hold a controversial study of American newsrooms, after complaints from Republican lawmakers and media groups that the project was too intrusive.

Before you become too overjoyed, it’s on hold, not canceled.

The FCC put this out, possibly, as a trial balloon, they will tweak it, and bring it back in some form. Commissioner Ajit Pai is the one who leaked it, however, he works for the FCC and he hasn’t lost his job for this “leak”. He said he was concerned about the First Amendment. Maybe yes, maybe no.

The FCC said it is shelved, for now, until a “new study design” is finalized. The agency said that this and any future studies will not involve interviews with “media owners, news directors or reporters.”

What they didn’t say was also interesting. Will they still look into media ownership as something that has to comply with their idea of social justice? In other words, will they decide who gets to own stations and how many they get to own? Will the study be used to demonize and go to war with some media outlets?

Some are saying the FCC wants the Fairness Doctrine back. Of course it does. Others say, they are after conservative talk radio. Of course they are. It’s much more than that though, they are after all opposing opinions.

Maybe that’s the wrong way to put it. The truth is they think they have all the right opinions and they want Americans to get those opinion. They want them inculcated into the very fabric of our society. It would complete the fundamental transformation.

This isn’t a plot. The left thinks alike and they are well-positioned to push their agenda on the rest of us. It’s as simple as that.

The FCC study includes print media over which they have no legal jurisdiction. The FCC has just expanded its powers by doing this, little is being said about it, and that’s where much of this story lies.

Yes, they went to war with Fox but they also spied on the AP, a left-wing news service. One day, these left-wing news people are going to find they’re next up in the crosshairs but it will be too late.

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