FCC backs off media survey plan - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

FCC backs off media survey plan

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FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai welcomed the new of the survey's postponement. (Source: FOX) FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai welcomed the new of the survey's postponement. (Source: FOX)

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX) - The Federal Communications Commission is backing off on a plan that would put monitors in newsrooms after critics called the idea intrusive and an attack on the First Amendment.

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai called the decision a victory for supporters of the Constitution.

"This is a big victory for the First Amendment. The FCC has announced that it is not going to send researchers hired by the government into news rooms across the country and that's a good thing I think for all citizens," he said. "The current chairman, Tom Wheeler, has announced that any study that the FCC does in any of these markets is not going to require media owners, news directors or journalists to answer any of these kinds of intrusive questions about editorial judgment. He has acknowledged that the study design really did come a little too close to the line when it comes to intruding on one of the core First Amendment principles."

Pai said he had heard from hundreds of Americans across the country on e-mail and on Twitter concerning the proposal. They included people from across the ideological spectrum, he said.

"I think that's one of the good things about this dialogue is that it's illustrated that everyone, regardless of where they come from on a particular political issue, shares that bedrock understanding of what our Constitution means when it says, 'The press shall be free,'" he said.

The FCC says the study will not be going forward until a new study design is finalized, and any future research plans will not involve interviews with media owners, news directors, or reporters in the news industry.

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