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Sustaining Democracy in a Digital Age

A Blog from New America's Media Policy Initiative

Public Interest Obligations: Can you help us collect data for our analysis?

Published:  April 20, 2010
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Today we posted a set of public files we have recently collected. In the context of the Future of Media Inquiry being run by the FCC we have decided to examine copies of the public files broadcasters are required to make available in fulfillment of the public interest obligation they accept as licensees of the public airways. The ones we have collected from television and radio stations in Los Angeles, New York, and Washington are located on this page alongside an explanation of some background to the current status of the requirements to hold a public file. 

The files we have to date are only a very partial set collected by members of the Media Policy Initiative team at New America and from Prof. Matthew Hale from Seton Hall University, and we'd like to ask for your assistance in gathering additional files from around the country so that we have a more representative sample for our analysis.  
It is quite easy to get a copy of the file:
  • Find the address of your local TV or radio station.
  • Visit their offices between 9am - 5pm and ask for a copy of their public file. They should be able to provide you immediate access and the ability to photocopy the file. (They can charge you for the copies.

(Be prepared that the first person you ask may not know where the file is and you may need to wait to be directed to the right person.If the broadcaster can't provide you access, do let us know.)

If you would like to post a copy of your local station's public interest obligation files, contact us/me at glaisyer@newamerica.net and we will post the files on our site. 

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