In order to to produce a fair representation of issues, the National Association of Broadcasters wants to make sure that the people weighing in on local broadcasting at the FCC's media ownership hearings have not been imported from other geographic areas.
"I was at the Nashville media ownership hearing and there were people from St. Louis and Cincinnati complaining about local media," said NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton. "That suggests to us that there is something curious about these so-called localism hearings."
The FCC is holding a media ownership public hearing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on Friday, Feb. 23, and if past is prologue, broadcasters could get an
during the open-mike session.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin Thursday, NAB President David Rehr said that while the "NAB believes that comments from local viewers and listeners are the most relevant and valuable to the Commission," it also believes those comments should be verifiability local.
"One way to improve the dialog and ensure all Americans have the opportunity to provide their viewpoints," Rehr wrote,"would be to have all individuals wanting to provide their personal opinions to the Commission identify the city or town where they reside."
"Making this simple procedure a standard part of these hearings will enhance the record of the Commission,
and will also help ensure that the Commissioners hear from viewers and listeners who actually receive
service from stations in the local markets where the hearings are being conducted," Rehr wrote.