|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2017
WASHINGTON (NRB) – National Religious Broadcasters today praised the Federal Communications Commission for unanimously adopting an order offered by Chairman Ajit Pai that will enhance charitable giving opportunities for community needs, a long-term policy position supported by NRB.
Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, NRB President & CEO, said, “This sensible policy will permit our members to better educate their listeners and viewers about critical needs in their communities – something that is clearly in the public interest. Ajit Pai, in particular, deserves praise for acting on this matter early in his tenure as FCC Chairman. NRB has long advocated this nonpartisan, commonsense regulatory reform.”
Previously, noncommercial (NCE) broadcast stations were prohibited from on-air fundraising for other nonprofit organizations unless they were provided a waiver by the FCC. 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 action was originally suggested by NRB and was initiated as a proposed rulemaking five years ago by former Chairman Julius Genachowski (D) with the concurrence of Commissioner Mignon Clyburn (D) and then-Commissioner Robert McDowell (R). It allows 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.”
“I could not be more pleased with Chairman Pai’s leadership of the FCC in the short time he has taken the helm,” Johnson added. “President Donald J. Trump also deserves praise for naming Pai to this strategic role, demonstrating, once again, the importance of presidential appointments in advancing good policy. We look forward to continuing to work with Chairman Pai on other matters of interest to our members.”
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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