RTDNA calls on FCC to end 'telephone broadcast rule'

July 7, 2017 11:00

RTDNA is calling on the FCC to eliminate its so-called "telephone broadcast rule," which requires that, before broadcasting or recording a telephone conversation for later broadcast, journalists at radio or television stations must inform any party to the call of its intention to broadcast the conversation. Simply saying you work for a radio or TV station is not enough; you must inform the other party specifically.

Journalists at no other media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines or digital outlets have this requirement. The Commission has said the rule exists to balance newsgathering and privacy. However, because there are so many means through which a telephone conversation can be publically posted, such as websites or social media platforms, keeping the rule under the guise of protecting privacy no longer makes sense.

RTDNA believes the rule unduly restricts broadcast journalists from conducting investigative journalism and interviews in the same manner as those working for print or digital publications, and has suggested to the Commission that the rule is antiquated, imposes discriminatory burdens on broadcast journalists, and should be eliminated.

You can read RTDNA's full filing here.