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RTDNA files comments with FCC over indecency fine

July 28, 2015 05:00

Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) gave notice that it planned to levy its maximum penalty for indecency over a three-second video clip in a news story, aired by WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Virginia. The fine was announced in March, penalizing the station for a July 12, 2012 newscast, which apparently aired what the agency termed, "extremely graphic and explicit sexual content." The story centered on a former adult film actress who had applied to work on a volunteer EMT rescue squad, and included a still photo taken from an adult website.

RTDNA objected to the FCC's decision to assess the maximum fine, for a fleeting and inadvertent image in the news story, and today filed comments with the FCC in conjunction with the Natinoal Association of Broadcasters (NAB), calling on the agency to drop the proposed fine.

"Our filing explains the key issues stations have with the FCC's indecency policy, which is that it is poorly defined and randomly enforced," said Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director. "In particular, we are concerned about the chilling effect this kind of uncertainly creates for newsrooms until the FCC can adopt a clear and fair approach."

Schurz Communications, the station's owner, has vowed to appeal the fine.

You can read the complete comments from RTDNA and the NAB by clicking here. Read Schurz' comments to the FCC by clicking here.


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