The Press: Stitch in Time

Ready for presidential signature this week: a bill designed to put an end to what the U.S. broadcasting industry considers a ridiculous abuse of the so-called "equal-time" rule, by which any station that puts a political candidate on the air must give equal time to every other qualified candidate who demands it. The bill amends the Communications Act to exempt bona fide newscasts and news programs from the provision. The need for an amendment arose last spring, when the FCC issued an interpretation holding that equal time applied not only to campaign speeches but also to news programs.

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