Current Online

Senator thwarts bill protecting religious broadcasters on educational channels

Originally published in Current, Oct. 30, 2000
By Stephanie Lash

Senate leaders attempted unsuccessfully Oct. 13 to use unanimous consent to pass a bill protecting religious broadcasters on educational channels. In cooperation with Democratic leaders, Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) thwarted the move by objecting. The attempt put pubcasting advocates on alert as Congress rushes to adjourn.

The Noncommercial Broadcasting Freedom of Expression Act, H.R. 4201, which passed the House in June, would solidify religious broadcasters' right to hold noncommercial educational licenses. They would qualify by certifying that their broadcasts serve an "educational, instructional, cultural or religious purpose."

The Coalition to Defend Educational Broadcasting, organized by the Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting, has argued against the legislation, which orders the FCC not to review whether broadcast material serves the public interest.


. To Current's home page
. Earlier news: House passes bill to loosen criteria for noncommercial channels.
. Outside link: Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting.

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