Congress emphasizes CPB’s “objectivity and balance” obligations, 1992

CPB from its start had always had responsibility for ensuring “objectivity and balance” in programming that it funded, but on June 2, 1992, the U.S. Senate amended the House bill that included CPB’s reauthorization (H.R. 2977) to add related responsibilities. Amendments were accepted by the House and signed by the President in August. Text below is from the act as signed by the President.

Objectivity and Balance Policy, Procedures and Report

SEC. 19. Pursuant to the existing responsibility of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting under section 396(g)(1)(A) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 396(g)(1)(A)) to facilitate the full development of public telecommunications in which programs of high quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, and innovation, which are obtained from diverse sources, will be made available to public telecommunications entities, with strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature, the Board of Directors of the Corporation shall —

(1) review the Corporation’s existing efforts to meet its responsibility under section 396(g)(1)(A);

(2) after soliciting the views of the public, establish a comprehensive policy and set of procedures to —

(A) provide reasonable opportunity for members of the public to present comments to the Board regarding the quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, innovation, objectivity, and balance of public broadcasting services, including all public broadcasting programming of a controversial nature, as well as any needs not met by those services;

(B) review, on a regular basis, national public broadcasting programming for quality, diversity, creativity, excellence, innovation, objectivity, and balance, as well as for any needs not met by such programming;

(C) on the basis of information received through such comment and review, take such steps in awarding programming grants pursuant to clauses (ii)(II), (iii)(II), and (iii)(III) of section 396(k)(3)(A) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 396(k)(3)(A)) that it finds necessary to meet the Corporation’s responsibility under section 396(g)(1)(A), including facilitating objectivity and balance in programming of a controversial nature; and

(D) disseminate among public broadcasting entities information about its efforts to address concerns about objectivity and balance relating to programming of a controversial nature so that such entities can utilize the Corporation’s experience in addressing such concerns within their own operations; and

(3) starting in 1993, by January 31 of each year, prepare and submit to the President for transmittal to the Congress a report summarizing its efforts pursuant to paragraphs (1) and (2).

Source: Library of Congress website

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