Julian Hattem

FCC: ‘No intention’ of muzzling press

The Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) is trying to reassure House Republicans that it has no plans to restrict the freedom of the press. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Republican leaders of the House Commerce Committee that his commission “has no intention of regulating political or other speech of journalists or broadcasters.”

Chairman Wheeler defended new FCC research as the first step toward pinpointing “market barriers” that may make affect the “diversity of media voices.” Republicans expressed concern that the FCC's study was an attempt "to control the political speech of journalists” by reviving the Fairness Doctrine, now-extinct rules that required radio and TV broadcasters to air opposing viewpoints on major issues. FCC Commission Ajit Pai raised alarms about the study.