What are the unfavorable consequences of social science research in the media reform movement? Better research won't necessarily lead to better policy.
Policy process at the FCC:
- FCC gives public notice and request for comment (Notice for Proposed Rule Making or NPRMs), but it is usually industry that intervenes in the comment process
- The FCC issues a decision
- Which can be appealed in court
The role of 3rd party studies at the FCC:
- Industry studies are often preferred in the first
- If reformers have a study, the FCC will cite "conflicting
evidence," and industry wins
- The industry has more studies, and industry wins
- FCC should conduct it's own studies or commission them.
Unfortunately under Powell and Martin, this process hasn't worked very well.
For instance, Pritchard was commissioned to submit a study that was based on
previously published, industry funded study. Academics should support FCC data
collection, but they should also monitor it.
- Make proprietary industry data publicly
- Legislate that FCC relies on better quality data.
The Data Quality Act was not in effect in the 2002 media ownership review. By
the time it took effect, it slowed the process, but it didn't stop the FCC
from following the Republican majority's predetermined