|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 30, 2017
WASHINGTON (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters today applauded Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for circulating the draft of a long-awaited order to aid charitable giving opportunities for community needs.
Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB President & CEO, said, “Educating listeners and viewers about critical societal needs and aiding them to help charitable groups address those needs is most definitely in the public interest. I thank Chairman Pai for leading the Commission to at long last take action on this nonpartisan, commonsense regulatory reform, which NRB has long advocated.”
Currently noncommercial (NCE) broadcast stations are prohibited from on-air fundraising for other nonprofit organizations unless they are provided a waiver by the Commission. The custom of the Commission has been to issue waivers after mass catastrophes or other exceptional incidents, during which the power of stations to aid in fundraising for charities helping suffering communities rebuild has been clear.
The basic substance of this new pending FCC action was originally suggested by NRB and was initiated as a proposed rulemaking 5 years ago by former Chairman Julius Genachowski (D) with the concurrence of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (D) and then-Commissioner Robert McDowell (R). It will allow interested NCE broadcasters to serve their communities not just in disaster scenarios, but also in efforts to ameliorate everyday struggles by giving them the option to volunteer a small percentage of airtime for third-party charitable fundraising. The agency’s 2011 Information Needs of Communities Report (INC Report) recommended such action, and in a statement accompanying the 2012 proceeding, former Chairman Genachowski said, “Allowing noncommercial stations to partner with charities, churches and other religious organizations, schools, and other non-profits to raise money for worthy causes will enable these stations to help meet the needs of their local communities. On-air fundraising by noncommercial stations can also help raise awareness about important local and international topics, such as poverty, health care, and humanitarian issues.”
Dr. Johnson added, “Chairman Pai has done well right out of the gate to build bipartisan consensus around common sense efforts to lift unnecessary burdens on the public interest. NRB has long urged the FCC to take this reasonable step for noncommercial stations, and I look forward with hope to its adoption.”
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a nonpartisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth, promote media excellence, and defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.
About the NRB Convention
The annual NRB International Christian Media Convention is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of around 200 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their organizations. The next Convention, Proclaim 18, will be held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center in Nashville, Tennessee, February 27-March 2, 2018. For more information, go to www.nrbconvention.org.
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