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FCC may propose that broadcasters put their public records online

Here is a welcome proposal that would make broadcasters more accountable by making them put online their “public-inspection” files, which are now usually in paper and available for inspection by the public during limited hours at the studio. The last time this was proposed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the broadcasting industry opposed the measure as too burdensome.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wants broadcasters to put their public files online, including public-affairs-programming logs, requests for political-ad time and the prices charged, according to FCC sources.

Some in the TV industry say the move could provide more ammunition for activist groups looking to challenge TV licenses and could add up to more expense and time for stations to convert drawers of papers to a searchable Web database.

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