The Us Federal Communications Commission Protecting — страница 2

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is a rather subjective decision made by the commission, but, its main purpose is to maintain the candor and honesty of its prospective licensees. A past record of dishonesty or misrepresentation is a good sign of possible future violations and is prohibited. The FCC requires the prospective licensee to show proof of financial capability to operate the station for 90 days without any income. The applicant must also show its ability to construct, purchase, and operate the facilities required for transmission. While this requirement sets a minimum financial obligation for the applicants that disqualifies the majority of the population, such regulations guarantee that the scarce resource will be protected from those who can not afford to operate it. While the FCC does require proof

of such obligations, it does not give an advantage to those who have more of a financial backing than others. Applications that just meet the minimum obligations are not weighed any less than those that have considerably more money that the minimums. All applicants must demonstrate to the commission that they have sufficient technical knowledge to meet all of the technical requirements set forth in FCC rules. The ability to operate equipment that has been approved for the various classes of stations as well as fix technical glitches assures that interference or blatant technical violations will be minimized. The FCC has the right to not accept, which is different from rejection, those applications that do not meet the minimum technical requirements. The FCC also has regulations

that encourage and even require media diversity. Multiple ownership rules attempts to prevent a single person, entity, or organization to own more than the standard amount of broadcast stations. The FCC furthers these regulations by prohibiting multiple ownership of facilities in the same community or area, those limiting ownership no matter where the facilities are, and those forbidding newspapers from owning a television station in the same community. No single entity can own two AM stations, FM stations, or two television stations in the same community unless their programming is non-commercial. Limits on the number of stations owned throughout the country also apply, with a cap of 12 to 14 stations total, depending on minority hiring practices. Because this was once

permitted, certain stations have been “grandfathered” in to the new rules, however, such clauses do not apply if ownership is sold or transferred in the future. The Federal Communications Commission can fine a station or take its license if it finds that a broadcaster is violating FCC rules. FCC rules generally do not govern the selection of programming that is broadcast. The main exceptions are that broadcasters may not broadcast obscene programming; they may broadcast indecent programming only when there is a strong probability that no children are in the audience; and they must limit the number of commercials aired during programming aimed at children. There are also rules to ensure that candidates for public office are able to have access to the air for their paid

political ads as well as responses and equal time for qualified candidates. Once the application has been submitted for evaluation, the FCC will grant a license if it feels that the “public convenience, interest, or necessity will be served thereby.” (FCC – What it Does, page 412) If for any reason the commission is unable to make a finding that the station will serve the public interest, there must be a full hearing with the “burden of proof placed on the applicant.” (FCC – What it Does, page 412) Other broadcast stations or citizens groups that might be affected also have the right to call licensing into question by hearing. Such groups can attempt to show that the granting of a new license will have an economically adverse effect on the already established station.

The commission can take these accounts into consideration but can not protect stations from competition. In such cases where there is some question by the commission, but all the qualifications have been met, temporary 180 day or more licenses can and will be granted. Applications that do not meet the qualifications of the commission or do not win lottery or contests for applicants of equal qualification are rejected. Such rejections can be appealed. If a license is granted, the Broadcaster does not own the frequency, but instead holds a “renewable license to use the frequencies on which the station transmits.” (page 100 handout) These licenses are renewed as long as their are no competing applicants in a “rubber stamp” process every seven years if “all the criteria for