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GOP rep to introduce bill that blocks FCC newsroom study

Credit: U.S. House

Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) released a statement Tuesday indicating he plans to put forth a bill that will block a controversial Federal Communications Commission study.

Credit: U.S. House Credit: U.S. House

The FCC announced plans for the study -- the Critical Information Needs study -- in February. Following backlash from mostly news media professionals and conservatives who charged that it threatened the First Amendment, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said the study would back off any perceived monitoring or evaluating of newsroom or journalists.

Walden said in his statement:

The very existence of this CIN study is an affront to the First Amendment and should have never been proposed in the first place. As someone with a journalism degree, I was alarmed from the moment I saw it, which is why we wrote to Chairman Wheeler in December to urge him to stop the study. To date, Chairman Wheeler has insisted upon only making small tweaks, and what he has proposed to do isn’t enough. The study should be eradicated completely. The potential for violation of the First Amendment is exceptionally egregious, but it is also concerning that the commission believes it can prescribe what ‘critical information needs’ are in communities across the country.

Walden is chairman of the House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology.

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