FCC Commissioner Speaks Out: ‘Government Doesn’t Have a Place in the Newsroom’

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai brought people’s attention to a planned FCC study to study U.S. newsrooms and warned about its First Amendment implications. Pai joined Greta Van Susteren on Thursday to speak out further, saying there is a danger in giving the government oversight of a free press.

It’s not the FCC directly conducting the study, it’s an outside contractor, but these researchers will be going, at the behest of the regulatory agency, into newsrooms to “figure out why they cover the stories that they do,” Pai explained, and he said he went public because he was “concerned about what this implicated for our First Amendment values.”

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Pai told Van Susteren that the questions about “news philosophy and editorial judgment” will be taken out, as per new statements today by the head of the FCC, but even with that, Van Susteren said, “You’d have to be out of your mind to have proposed this in the first place.” Pai agreed that “government doesn’t have a place in the newsroom,” and while the FCC has an authority to report on “barriers” to news access, he argued that thanks to the “unparalleled amount of choice” people have for media consumption, there are fewer barriers to media access than ever.

Watch the video below, via Fox News:

[photo via screengrab]

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Josh Feldman is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @feldmaniac