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.
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.
1904 Franklin Street # 500
Oakland CA 94612