Category: Public News

State Broadcasters Associations Urge Congress To Pass VOICES Act

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All fifty State Broadcasters Associations, joined by those of the District of Columbia and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, are collectively urging US Congress to expedite the approval of the VOICES Act – pivotal legislation aimed at promoting diversity in media ownership.

They have officially requested support for H.R. 8072 and S. 4158, known as the Broadcast VOICES Act, which was introduced in April and seeks to reinstate the Diversity Tax Certificate Program at the Federal Communications Commission.

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Copyright Board Asks Supreme Court To Keep Royalty Rates It Set For Religious Stations.

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The Copyright Royalty Board is defending its rate setting decision-making to the U.S. Supreme Court where religious broadcasters are looking to overturn June 2021 decision in the so-called Web V proceeding that covers radio’s streaming royalties for 2021 to 2025. The CRB says it largely maintained the rate structure that has governed noncommercial radio webcasts since 2006, which has set significantly lower rates for noncommercial stations.

The National Religious Broadcasters Noncommercial Music License Committee has asked the Supreme Court to overturn the rates set by the CRB. It doubled the minimum fee for noncommercial webcasters to $1,000 per year for each station or channel. But that rate will go up if a station has a large online audience. The CRB says noncommercial operators will need to pay an additional $0.21 for every 100 songs streamed for all digital audio transmissions above 159,140 aggregate tuning hours in a month per station or channel. Those rates rose to $0.25 for every 100 songs on Jan. 1 under annual inflation adjustments.

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News Corp. and OpenAI strike ‘multi-year global partnership’ deal to use journalistic content to improve ChatGPT

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OpenAI and News Corp. on Wednesday announced a “multi-year global partnership” that will allow OpenAI to access current and archived articles from News Corp.’s outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, Barron’s, The New York Post and more.

As part of the deal, OpenAI will be able to display content from News Corp.-owned outlets within its ChatGPT chatbot, in response to user questions. The startup will also be able to use News Corp.’s content “to enhance its products,” or, likely, to train its artificial intelligence models.

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Justice Department sues Live Nation, Ticketmaster, alleging monopoly over live entertainment industry

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The Justice Department sued Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation on Thursday, accusing the ticketing companies of blocking competition in the live entertainment industry.

The DOJ, which filed the antitrust lawsuit alongside 30 state and district attorneys general, alleges that Ticketmaster and Live Nation’s anti-competitive behavior deprives U.S. music fans of ticketing innovation and forces them to pay more than fans in other countries.

“We allege that Live Nation relies on unlawful, anticompetitive conduct to exercise its monopolistic control over the live events industry in the United States at the cost of fans, artists, smaller promoters, and venue operators,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement.

“The result is that fans pay more in fees, artists have fewer opportunities to play concerts, smaller promoters get squeezed out, and venues have fewer real choices for ticketing services,” he added. “It is time to break up Live Nation-Ticketmaster.”

The DOJ argued that the ticketing companies engage in exclusionary practices to protect a self-reinforcing business model, in which they use revenue from ticket sales and sponsorships to lock in artists with exclusive promotion deals.

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It’s Nearly Memorial Day, But Political Ad Focus Already Looking Past Labor Day.

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Predicting the future is hard, but what the airwaves may sound like later this year in terms of political ad spending is as close as it gets for broadcasters. AdImpact, which looks at where candidates have already reserved ad time, says 14 hopefuls have placed reservations after Labor Day of at least $1 million. And as of Tuesday (May 21), it says $208 million future Presidential ad reservations have been booked.

AdImpact says Democratic advertisers currently hold a $137.5 million advantage in future Presidential ad reservations over Republicans. The political ad tracking firm says GOP advertisers currently have $1.7 million in future reservations, with their latest reservation ending on May 28. In comparison, Democratic advertisers have $139.2 million booked through Election Day.

The pro-Biden group Future Forward accounts for nearly all that spending. AdImpact says it has reserved $134.5 million of broadcast and cable ad time in the fall. Where its dollars are going closely aligns with the battleground states. Ads have been tracked in Pennsylvania ($36.3 million), Michigan ($26 million), Arizona ($21.5 million), Georgia ($19.8 million), Wisconsin ($16.7 million), Nevada ($5.6 million) and North Carolina ($5 million). The PAC has also booked $3.7 million in the Omaha, NE market as Biden looks to win Nebraska’s second congressional district for an electoral college advantage. AdImpact says if Future Forward’s current reservations hold, the group will exceed the $118.2 million it spent in 2020 supporting the incumbent.

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NAB Says Multilingual EAS Alert Plan Could Do More Harm Than Good During Emergencies.

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The National Association of Broadcasters says a proposal to use pre-scripted alerts to help ensure non-English speakers are reached during an emergency could be more of a hindrance than a help. It is warning the execution could cause “further confusion” for non-English language audiences during an emergency, saying multilingual template EAS alerts will be “ineffective and confusing” as well as putting a new cost burden on broadcasters.

“The messages will have to be stripped of meaningful content to their essentials to be translated into pre-canned scripts in 13 different languages. No doubt, those pre-canned scripts will omit information and nuance that may be crucial to delivering an effective warning to the receiver,” NAB says in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission.

The FCC is currently considering a proposal (PS Docket No. 15-94) that it says would help ensure that alerts reach the more than 26 million Americans with limited English-language proficiency. It would create an alert reservoir that stations could tap into during a disaster situation to deliver EAS alerts in 14 languages, including English and Spanish. The recordings would be stored in EAS devices, and the translated audio for each template would be provided as audio files or links to streaming audio.

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News Organizations Have Trust Issues As They Gear Up To Cover Another Election, Poll Finds

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About half of Americans, 53%, say they are extremely or very concerned that news organizations will report inaccuracies or misinformation during the election. Some 42% express worry that news outlets will use generative artificial intelligence to create stories, according to a poll from the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

NEW YORK (AP) — Even as many Americans say they learn about the 2024 election campaign from national news outlets, a disquieting poll reveals some serious trust issues.

About half of Americans, 53%, say they are extremely or very concerned that news organizations will report inaccuracies or misinformation during the election. Some 42% express worry that news outlets will use generative artificial intelligence to create stories, according to a poll from the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The poll found 47% of Americans also expressing serious concern that news outlets would report information that has not been confirmed or verified, and 44% worry that accurate information will be presented in a way that favors one side or another.

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Warning: CARU Will Strictly Enforce New Guidelines Covering AI-Generated Kids Ads

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The rapidly evolving field of AI-generated advertising not surprisingly is raising new ethical questions and business practice issues for advertisers and agencies. What is surprising is that there has been no standard codified to protect impressionable children who might not otherwise have the faculties to distinguish synthetic, machine-generated content, as well as the relative truth inherent in it.Until now.

This morning, the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) of the BBB National Programs issued a new compliance warning covering the use of AI in its advertising and privacy guidelines.

“The CARU compliance warning puts advertisers, brands, endorsers, developers, toy manufacturers, and others on notice that CARU’s Advertising and Privacy Guidelines apply to the use of AI in advertising and the collection of personal data from children,” the unit said in a statement released this morning, along with detailed updated guidelines, which can be downloaded and read here.

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11 States Now Have Laws Limiting Artificial Intelligence, Deep Fakes, and Synthetic Media in Political Advertising – Looking at the Issues

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Artificial Intelligence was the talk of the NAB Convention last week.  Seemingly, not a session took place without some discussion of the impact of AI.  One area that we have written about many times is the impact of AI on political advertising.  Legislative consideration of that issue has exploded in the first quarter of 2024, as over 40 state legislatures considered bills to regulate the use of AI (or “deep fakes” or “synthetic media”) in political advertising – some purporting to ban the use entirely, with most allowing the use if it is labeled to disclose to the public that the images or voices that they are experiencing did not actually happen in the way that they are portrayed.  While over 40 states considered legislation in the first quarter, only 11 have thus far adopted laws covering AI in political ads, up from 5 in December when we reported on the legislation adopted in Michigan late last year.

The new states that have adopted legislation regulating AI in political ads in 2024 are Idaho, Indiana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin.  These join Michigan, California, Texas, Minnesota, and Washington State which had adopted such legislation before the start of this year.  Broadcasters and other media companies need to carefully review all of these laws.  Each of these laws is unique – there is no standard legislation that has been adopted across multiple states.  Some have criminal penalties, while others simply imposing civil liability.  Media companies need to be aware of the specifics of each of these bills to assess their obligations under these new laws as we enter this election season where political actors seem to be getting more and more aggressive in their attacks on candidates and other political figures.

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Local Television Prepares For Total Solar Eclipse Coverage

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An expected crush of cell traffic may strain wireless networks, but stations are prepared

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Reruns are nothing new to television, but not so much when Mother Nature typically waits a few hundred years to put on a repeat performance.

Next week’s total solar eclipse, however, is a notable exception. Many of the reporters, news photogs and newsroom personnel covering the Great American Eclipse in August 2017 are still alive and likely working the April 8 redux.

Not only will these broadcasters have the benefit of experience from the 2017 solar eclipse, but also those assigned to cover what Scientific American has dubbed “The Great American Total Solar Eclipse of 2024” will have a few tech, organizational and distribution improvements to enhance their coverage and reach viewers.

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