Policy: Technology

Republican FCC commissioner wants controversial media study scrapped for good

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Joel Gehrke,Media,Technology,FCC

Federal Communications Commission regulators should not merely suspend their plans to carry out a controversial study of media outlets, but cancel it permanently, one of the agency's Republican commissioners said Wednesday.

FCC chairman Tom Wheeler agreed to review the study after media pressure last week.

"I am afraid that tweaking it is just not enough," commissioner Mike O'Rielly, a Republican appointed by President Obama in 2013, said of the study. "If any value was ever to come from this particular exercise, that ship has sailed. It is probably time to cancel the CIN study for good.”

Ajit Pai, the other Republican on the commission -- and the one who brought the study into the national spotlight -- hailed the decision to suspend the review of whether news outlets meet "critical needs."

"The commission has now recognized that no study by the federal government, now or in the future, should involve asking questions to media owners, news directors, or reporters about their practices," Pai said Friday. "This is an important victory for the First Amendment. And it would not have been possible without the American people making their voices heard."

The Washington Examiner's Byron York wrote more about the study, which commissioner Mignon Clyburn -- daughter of Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., -- supported, here.

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