My Current Project: Public File

Public File

The Public File: Friend or Foe?

Right on the heels of the joyous news that the FCC is considering moving the all-knowing, all-powerful “public file” to an online format, I would like to formally introduce to you the project that has consumed my every waking hour for the past month*.

You guessed it: I’ve been working on the public file.

Public file (noun): a collection of documents required by a broadcasting authority to be maintained by all broadcast stations under its jurisdiction. Such a file is required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States. The public inspection file must be maintained at the station’s main studio and it must be accessible to anyone during business hours.

As archaic as it might seem, all broadcasting outlets (both radio and TV) have to keep a record of their value to the community as part of their license renewal and inspection. (If, for some strange reason, you’re looking to bum yourself out, take a look at some of the hefty fines imposed upon stations who don’t comply with FCC regulations.)So, for the past few weeks I have been up late, reviewing archives and documents, and creating a list of all important interviews and guests that the station has had each quarter since the beginning of 2010.

It’s weird to think that the sheets of paper I added to the public file might be the last-ever physical copies to be added at our station. I definitely envy all future directors who will be involved with the online public file process. I am certain that it will be more streamlined in a way that makes it easier to enter the station’s data.

At any rate, the work paid off, though. Our station was inspected for license renewal on Friday, and I’m proud to announce that we passed with flying colors!

(*Blogger’s Note: The above statement is a slight over-exaggeration.)

Have you ever had to update a public file? Is it news to you that public files even exist!? Let me know what your thoughts are in the comments!

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