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Paperwork Reduction or Information Reduction?


While as environmentally concerned as anyone, the latest idea to eliminate broadcaster public files to save the trees, doesn't sound like a winner in the public interest department. 

Comments will be accepted until June 17th at PRA@fcc.gov. MA's comment is below for inspiration. 

***

Dear Commissioners,

I am writing today regarding the re-authorization of the public file requirements for 
broadcast outlets. Public files, whether stored digitally or in metal file cabinets, provide the
only way for ordinary people to find out who owns the broadcast outlets they listen to 
everyday. I am sure we don't mean to require an FOIA inquiry in order for such simple 
information to be accessible.

The FCC solicits public comments on a number of issues relating to broadcast ownership 
as well as putting broadcast applicants through a regular process for the renewal of their 
licenses from the American people. It also provides a process for members of a community 
to complain or request the denial of a petition if they feel the broadcast entity is not 
serving them well.

Maintaining an authentic process of community input into FCC  decisions regarding 
broadcast policy and ownership requires the continuation of the public file system.

I am sure the authors of the Paperwork Reduction Act did not intend implementation of the 
act to serve as a barrier to public access to public information about publicly owned assets.

Even if public files are not accessed thousands of times a year, the times they are provide 
an invaluable safeguard to the American people's rights to knowledge and input about the 
use of their airwaves.

A better solution to the paperwork issue is to develop an online storage system for public 
file documentation, rather than eviscerating the public's right to know.

Tracy Rosenberg
Executive Director
Media Alliance
1904 Franklin Street # 500
Oakland CA 94612
(510) 832-9000
http://www.media-alliance.org



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