Bill Moyers wants the public to take action against broadcasters who use the airwaves to profit off of political campaign money with little or no respect to the public interest (Moyers states up to 3 billion will be spent in this election cycle).

What raised Moyers’ eyebrows this time was an overall rejection by broadcasters of a recent FCC proposal that stations post online the sources of political ads – the names of organizations paying for them.  In addition,  a bill was recently passed in the House that Moyers claims could further cripple the FCC’s power to fight on behalf of the public,  The FCC Process Reform Act.

In a call-to-action to the public,  Moyers encourages ‘crowd-sourcing’ as a way to combat the power of broadcasters, and, “…to collect the data democracy needs to work”.

Here’s Bill Moyers’ video essay:

http://billmoyers.com/segment/bill-moyers-essay-who-pays-for-political-ads/

Here’s an arstechnica.com article about the FCC Process Reform Act:

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2012/03/house-votes-to-limit-fccs-power-to-make-rules-set-conditions-on-mergers.ars

Bill Moyers’ article about how to help:

http://billmoyers.com/2012/03/21/diy-making-campaign-ads-more-transparent/

Here’s an excerpt:

“Hey, you can help: Go to your local station, ask for the data and start posting it yourself. And all you professors of journalism — how about enlisting your students to be their own FOIA sleuths? The nonprofit newsroom ProPublica is encouraging students to go to their local stations, xerox the documents and post them online. (These are the documents that tell us who’s buying ads — the very data that the stations have claimed are too difficult and costly to post online.) And give your students classroom credit for putting your mentoring to work.

Want to learn more? Read “If TV Stations Won’t Post Their Data Online, We Will” on the ProPublica website.

Keep fighting, people. It’s the only way.”

And this is an interesting transcript of a 2003 interview Moyers had on his NOW program with FCC commissioner Michael Copps about media company control:

http://www.pbs.org/now/transcript/transcript_copps.html

And, here’s his blog on Huffington Post about campaign ad transparency:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-moyers/the-enemies-of-campaign-a_b_1370928.html

I can only repeat Moyers’ words: Keep fighting, people.  It’s the only way.

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