According to a report by Tim Cavanaugh, news editor of National Review Online, the Federal Communications Commission “has pulled the plug on its plan to conduct an intrusive probe of newsrooms” as part of a “Critical Information Needs” survey of local media markets.
FCC spokesperson Shannon Gilson issueda news release that indicated in the course of the commission's review and public comment, “concerns were raised that some of the questions may not have been appropriate. Chairman [Tom] Wheeler agreed that survey questions in the study directed toward media outlet managers, news directors, and reporters overstepped the bounds of what is required” for the pilot study in Columbia, South Carolina.
On Thursday, Kyle Drennen at NewsBusters noted that none of the three broadcast networks had covered the intent of the Federal Communications Commission, in the words of Byron York at the Washington Examiner, to "send government contractors into the nation's newsrooms to determine whether journalists are producing articles, television reports, Internet content, and commentary that meets the public's 'critical information needs.'"
Given that the nets take many of their new prioritization cues from the Associated Press, aka the Administration's Press, and to a lesser extent from the New York Times, it shouldn't surprise anyone that searches at the self-described "essential global news network" and at the Old Gray Lady indicate that neither outlet has covered it. The FCC has supposedly backtracked, but not really, as Katy Bachman at AdWeek noted yesterday (bolds are mine throughout this post):