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Broadcasters Need to Keep Eye on Latest EAS Updates

The new TLS protocol update needed before November 8

It’s time for broadcasters to confirm that their stations are up and running with the latest in EAS updates.

As it stands today, EAS participants are required to not only receive Common Alert Protocol messages from IPAWS but also configure their systems to reject all CAP-formatted EAS messages that include an invalid digital signature. Now, an effort to maintain compliance with commonly accepted security standards, FEMA is also taking the next step of removing support for older methods by requiring the use of an updated TLS 1.2 protocol to access FEMA’s IPAWS server, said Sage Alerting Systems and the Society of Broadcast Engineers. TLS, or Transport Layer Security, is cryptographic protocol providing communications security over networks and is often used for internet communications.

To acquire and verify IPAWS CAP alerts, a broadcaster’s EAS alerting equipment must be upgraded with the TLS 1.2 update prior to Nov. 8, 2019.



5G Is Forcing Hundreds of TV Channels to Change How They Broadcast

Do you use an antenna to watch TV? Whether you never adopted cable to begin with, or only recently cut the cord you may have noticed some of you TV stations have vanished in the last month. It’s all to make way for 5G, the next generation of cellular networks that promises speeds as fast, or often faster, than anything that comes from a cable snaking into your home. Only the stations aren’t really disappearing. They’ve just moved.

The sudden static on screens in cities such as Washington, D.C., and New York is due to a change of address. Because of forthcoming 5G wireless service, hundreds of TV stations across the country are being reassigned to new broadcast frequencies. Cable and satellite viewers won’t notice any change. But if you’re one of the TV renegades who have cut the cord (or never subscribed to cable to begin with) and are pulling in free over-the-air broadcasts, you’ll probably have to rescan with your TV’s receiver to get some stations back.



Local Legal Initiative

Reporters Committee on Freedom of the Press

A growing number of local and regional news organizations and journalists lack the legal support they need to pursue enterprise and investigative stories in their communities. The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is helping to change that. 

With generous support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Reporters Committee is expanding to provide direct legal services to more journalists at the local level. For the first time in our 50-year history, multiple Reporters Committee lawyers will be based in different locations across the country to support local enterprise and investigative journalism.



Six accessories for journalists to create on-the-go multimedia

hese days, you don’t need more than a phone to produce excellent multimedia content. You can shoot video, record audio, edit and publish all from your small device. To make your stories professional and well put together, though, you’re going to want to invest in some extra gear and accessories.

At the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) 2019 conference, held in Miami, Florida last weekend, Allison Davis and Denise James led a session on just this — mobile journalism gear. 



FCC Slaps Meruelo With $67K Fine For EAS Tones In Station Promo.


The Federal Communications Commission’s Enforcement Bureau has settled with Meruelo Radio Holdings for misusing Emergency Alert System (EAS) tones on the company’s classic Hip-Hop simulcast on KDAY Los Angeles and KDEY Riverside. ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and Discovery’s “Lone Star Law” were also part of the settlements for airing actual or simulated EAS or Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) tones. The combined settlement amount was $300,000 in civil penalties.