Sunlight to School Followers On Political Files

Is holding webinar as part of Ad Sleuth project
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The Sunlight Foundation is holding a seminar
Oct. 9
to help it team of political ad sleuths decipher TV stations' online political
files.

Starting
in August, the FCC required the top four affiliates in the top 200 markets to
file records of political ad buys, including who bought them and how much they
paid.

Sunlight,
a nonprofit trying to provide more transparency about political ad buys in
particular and government info in general, has pointed out that will reveal
only a fraction of the buys, including in swing states, and launched a
Political Ad Sleuth project
to encourage people to go to their local stations and collect the info
themselves as well as monitor the FCC's online postings.

On
Oct. 9, it is holding a webinar to help those sleuths read political files,
including uncovering the "dark money" spending.

"This
election year is the first time there exists online a database of political ad
files from TV stations, but it's limited to the top four stations in the top 50
media markets," explained Sunlight, "and that data is still hard to
decipher," as well.

Broadcasters
opposed the online posting requirement, arguing that posting individual spot
prices would put them at a competitive disadvantage to cable operator, show
also have to maintain political files per FCC rules, but don't have to post them
online.

Recently,
though, the National Association of Broadcasters asked a court to delay hearing
its challenge to the requirement, saying it would monitor the process through
the elections and could opt to drop the suit. The FCC has already promised to
review the top 50/top 200 requirement in a year and make any necessary
adjustments before applying it to all stations a year after that.

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