Petition Closed
Petitioning The Federal Communications Commision

Removal of the Broadcasting license issued by the FCC

We feel that Fox News willfully distorts the news in a manner detrimental to the United States and it's citizens and is done with malice aforethought .  

Broadcast Programming: Law and Policy on Specific Kinds of Programming

Back to Top
Broadcast Journalism
Introduction. As noted above, in light of the fundamental importance of the free flow of information to our democracy, the First Amendment and the Communications Act bar the FCC from telling station licensees how to select material for news programs, or prohibiting the broadcast of an opinion on any subject. We also do not review anyone’s qualifications to gather, edit, announce, or comment on the news; these decisions are the station licensee’s responsibility. Nevertheless, there are two issues related to broadcast journalism that are subject to Commission regulation: hoaxes and news distortion. 

Hoaxes. The broadcast by a station of false information concerning a crime or catastrophe violates the FCC's rules if:

 

the station licensee knew that the information was false,
broadcasting the false information directly causes substantial public harm, and
it was foreseeable that broadcasting the false information would cause such harm.
 

In this context, a “crime” is an act or omission that makes the offender subject to criminal punishment by law, and a “catastrophe” is a disaster or an imminent disaster involving violent or sudden events affecting the public. The broadcast must cause direct and actual damage to property or to the health or safety of the general public, or diversion of law enforcement or other public health and safety authorities from their duties, and the public harm must begin immediately. If a station airs a disclaimer before the broadcast that clearly characterizes the program as fiction and the disclaimer is presented in a reasonable manner under the circumstances, the program is presumed not to pose foreseeable public harm. Additional information about the hoax rule can be found on the FCC’s website at http://www.fcc.gov/guides/broadcasting-false- information.

News Distortion. The Commission often receives complaints concerning broadcast journalism, such as allegations that stations have aired inaccurate or one-sided news reports or comments, covered stories inadequately, or overly dramatized the events that they cover. For the reasons noted above, the Commission generally will not intervene in such cases because it would be inconsistent with the First Amendment to replace the journalistic judgment of licensees with our own. However, as public trustees, broadcast licensees may not intentionally distort the news: the FCC has stated that “rigging or slanting the news is a most heinous act against the public interest.” The Commission will investigate a station for news distortion if it receives documented evidence of such rigging or slanting, such as testimony or other documentation, from individuals with direct personal knowledge that a licensee or its management engaged in the intentional falsification of the news. Of particular concern would be evidence of the direction to employees from station management to falsify the news. However, absent such a compelling showing, the Commission will not intervene. For additional information about news distortion, see http://www.fcc.gov/guides/broadcast-journalism-complaints.

This petition was delivered to:
  • The Federal Communications Commision


    Rodney Latstetter started this petition with a single signature, and now has 35,040 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.




    Today: Rodney is counting on you

    Rodney Latstetter needs your help with “The Federal Communications Commision: Removal of the Broadcasting license issued by the FCC”. Join Rodney and 35,039 supporters today.