by John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable
Consumer groups officialy complained to the Federal Communications Commission about the 10 media-ownership studies it released as part of its ongoing review of its rules.
In a filing with the commission Tuesday, Free Press, Consumers Union and Consumer Federation of America said the FCC's peer reviews of the studies, as mandated by law, were insufficient and tardy. They asked for additional peer reviews and additional time to study the studies.
"[B]ecause these 10 studies are 'influential scientific information,'" the complaint argued, "the commissionís processes with regard to these 10 studies are subject to rigorous reproducibility and peer-review requirements. The commission, however, has adopted processes that fail to provide adequate reproducibility or peer review."
The groups argued that the studies violate the Data Quality Act because they cannot be reproduced and the peer review does not pass muster, and that they violate OMB guildelines because the peer review was not released prior to the studies' publication.
The FCC set an Oct. 1 deadline for comment and an Oct. 16 deadline for reply comments on the studies, which were released July 31. The consumer groups want 90 days beginning after the FCC provides full access to the underlying data, which they said the agency has yet to do.