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18 Cards in this Set

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"independent United States government agency, directly responsible to Congress. T
public interest, convenience and necessity
The FCC has been told explicitly that broadcasts are not just for private gain. Law states that the FCC must look out for public interest. However, this phrase is ambiguous. Some say that maximizing profits of the studios is in their interest. Others argue that stations should be made to broadcast socially-worthy programs. (No-regulation people are the Rs, the regulation people are the Ds) The FCC does not directly regulate the Hollywood producers or the networks. The FCC directly regulates the stations. If you want a license to broadcast on a certain frequency, you apply to the FCC for a license. The license is granted for 8 years, with opportunity for renewal. If the station can be shown to be acting against public interest, they can be denied renewal.
power of the purse
a phrase describing how Congress has control of funding, which makes Congress important to the FCC. In Congress, both the Dems. and Reps. are internally divided over regulation. Therefore, even when Congress acts we don’t know how they will respond because of cross party coalitions
telecommunications subcommittee
Congressional Subcommittee that deals with the FCC. They have special expertise and interest. Individual representatives try to get their way yet committee chairs have lots of power. Another place where the FCC has to pay attention to Congress.
regulation in the 21st
This is regarding FCC policy stances in the 21st century. Republicans and Democrats are split regarding the function of the FCC. Some Republicans are anti-regulation and some think the FCC shouldn’t make rules but auction broadcasting licenses to the highest bidder. Social Conservatives want more regulations for sex and anti-Christian broadcasting. Democrats are also internally divided as part are sensitive to Hollywood artists and are anti-regulation while there are other leftists that support more regulation and somewhat mirror the Social Conservatives. Because of the internal divisions within the parties, it is impossible to predict the direction of the regulation in the FCC in the 21st.
indecency ruling
1993 congressional ruling that forbade indecent telbision and radio broadcasts between 6am-10pm. In 1995, the gederal court upheld the law. This was the basis for increased regulation of content. It began to become more enforced after the controversy of super bowl 2004, tried to extend to cable in 2006
Reed Hunt
Democrat appointed by Clinton in 1994 and is the most active liberal in the history of FCC commissioners. As president of the FCC he did the following: went to broadcast conventions and chastised broadcasters for being only about profit, got cable to roll back its rates by 7%, got broadcasters to air at least 3 hours of kids shows per week, and forced stations to give candidates half an hour of free air time each week during presidential campaigns. He was hated by the industry yet beloved by those that feel the FCC should be more active. He resigned in 1997. Hundt is an example of an activist liberal as FCC Chairman can be for regulation of the industry.
Michael Powell
Appointed as Chairman of the FCC by President Bush in 2001. He served in this capacity until January 2005. He was a member of the economic conservative wing of the Republican party and was anti-regulation. During his tenure the FCC’s mandate to broadcast in the public’s interest became meaningless. Later on in his career he was forced to become more pro-regulation because of public pressure resulting from the Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction incident during 2004 Super Bowl. He is significant because he is an example of how the public, when mobilized, can influence the politics of the FCC and pressure it to change its policy.
Very-High Frequency and Ultra-High Frequency. The FCC allocated VHF to the three major networks (NBC, ABC, and CBS). UHF was allocated to non-commercial capacities, such as military purposes. In 1946 the FCC allocated VHF but failed to allocate UHF, thus creating an artificial shortage of spectrums. The FCC refused to allocate it until 1962. It is significant because it is an example of how the industry mobilized itself to pressure the FCC to formulate policy that favored it. The FCC deliberately created an artificial scarcity of spectrums to give the networks monopoly profits because it was co-opted by the broadcasters.
Co-optation, was a television station in Jacksonville, Mississippi license to be renewed in 1966 ( when a stations license came up only those people with a direct economic state in the network they could attend the hearing) the broadcasting area was 40% black, if you watched it you would never know that there was a black person in the world. (No workers, no one in front of the camera, behind the camera, etc.) The lawyers of a the United Church of Christ in the area showed up to argue against the renewal of the license because of racism and they would not let them in and they sued and they won and the court ordered that the FCC have the hearing again and let anyone in that wanted to voice their opinion about the renewal of a license that they be allowed in a hearing. 1967 – the FCC reconvened the hearing and lawyers from both sides made their arguments and the commissioners heard the arguments and renewed the license. The United Church of Christ sued again and in 1969 – a federal court ordered the FCC to revoke the license of WLBT-TV. This sent shockwaves through the industry and immediately broadcast stations went out and hired African Americans and you began to see them behind the camera and in front.
High Definition Television. Japanese created. It has twice as many electronic lines on the screen, creating twice as much for your eyes to see so everything is sharper. The US started to panic about this so in 1988 the FCC responded by banning HDTV. Then when Americans had developed the technology in 1997, they put together a standard for high def. broadcasting, shutting the Japanese out of the market. Also in 1997, the FCC issued an order that all US broadcasting should go to HDTV broadcasting by May 2006, meaning that if you had an old analogy tv, your tv would go black (the deadline has moved to Feb 2009). Bottom line – The FCC acted to protect the American Broadcasting industry from foreign competition and to shepherd the transition to a new kind of television.
Super Bowl 2004
‘straw that broke the camel’s back.’ Before the super bowl there had been growing unhappiness about deregulation at the FCC and public frustration with sex and violence on TV. While Justin Timberlake and Janet Jackson were performing a music routine there was a wardrobe malfunction that exposed her breast. Some people that were watching the Super Bowl with their children were outraged that there was no warning about the 'wardrobe malfunction.’ As a result, the FCC led by Michael Powell became more pro-regulation.  The bottom line when we have this united public outrage they can get the FCC to radically change their policies. Michael Powell changed after the 2004 Super Bowl.
(National Association of Broadcasting) The major trade association of the broadcasters or the people who own radio or TV stations. The NAB has a ton of influence in Congress because they have a lot of money to pay lobbyists and because there are radio and TV stations in every congressional district. Members of Congress do not want to make these guys mad because it can hurt them quite badly during election times.
the PAC run by NAB that collects contributions from TV and Radio station owners. They then divide them up to members of Congress. Most of the contributions go to members of subcommittees for TV and radio broadcasting. In 2003 they spent 163 million dollars on lobbying. In 2004 they spent 1.81 million dollars on GW Bush for re-election, and 1.1 million dollars on Kerry just in case he won.
– (Motion Picture Association of America) Trade association of the studios that have physical presence in DC. This group has an advantage no other group has because they can show movies, especially ones which have not yet been released to the public. The President is directly connected to the MPAA and can ask for a private screening of the newest movie. The organization has recently been led by two democrats, Jack Valenti (who retired in 2004) and currently Dan Glickman (a former democratic member of the House from Kansas). MPAA is unpopular with Republicans who deliberately didn’t give tax breaks to motion pictures and TV productions while they were in power. This group is important because it reveals that money and power isn’t enough if you are unpopular.
creative coalition
founded in 1989 by Alec Baldwin, Susan Sarandon, Ron Silver, etc… This group lobbies on behalf of issues that interest them. During the Republican years they were unpopular, but now they are back because of the Democratic Congress. Proves that artists are organized also, but depending on who is in power sometimes don’t have influence.
Symbolic politics
use of simple emotional appeals that rely on dramatic convention to create support in the general public. When these are used Congress pays attention to the mass public. Villians and Victims: when a huge powerful org is beating up on seemingly weak victims. Villians and Hereos: the big powerful organization is defeated by the single hero. o This shows that Congress will ignore the masses because of their lack of organization generally, but symbolic politics is one way citizens can unite and make Congress act no matter what organization or company it is against.
industry jargon for tv programming aimed at children. By 1968, groups organized and were interested in reducing commercials and reducing violence in kids TV programming. Once ACT got organized, they went to congress with Villans and Victims story that TV stations were against kids. By 1988 democratic congress passed a law limiting the amount of commercials during kids programming to 10.5 minutes per house and the FCC to consider a record