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WASHINGTON – On Friday, a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a request by the National Association of Broadcasters to stay the implementation of Federal Communications Commission rules requiring television stations to post their political files online. Free Press, an intervenor in the case along with the Benton Foundation, the Campaign Legal Center, Common Cause, the New America Foundation and the Office of Communication of the United Church of Christ, opposed the NAB’s request for a stay.

Under the new FCC rules adopted in April, all broadcast TV stations will have to transition their paper public files to an online version. Stations affiliated with a major broadcast network in the top 50 media markets will have to place their political files online starting August 2, 2012.  All other TV stations will have to put their political files online starting July 2014.

Free Press Senior Policy Counsel Corie Wright issued the following statement:

“We are pleased, but not surprised, that the court cleared the way for the online public file rules to take effect on August 2. The court rightly rejected the NAB’s latest feeble attempt to curb public access to stations' political files. The NAB's case for delay was incredibly weak, as today's decision confirmed.

“This first-round victory goes to transparency and the public, and we’ll continue to advocate for better access to this already public information.”

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