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Information Economy Project

The Gore Commission, 10 Years Later: The Public Interest Obligations of Digital TV Broadcasters in Perfect Hindsight

Friday, October 3, 2008, 8:30 a.m. - National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC

On December 18, 1998, the Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters, commonly referred to as the "Gore Commission," released its final report, recommending:

  • Disclosure of "public interest activities" by commercial broadcasters
  • A voluntary standard of conduct crafted by the industry
  • A minimum standard of public interest requirements set by the FCC
  • A trust fund for public broadcasters to be established by Congress; and
  • Five minutes airtime per night for "candidate-centered discourse in the 30 days before an election," set to commence Sunday, October 5, 2008

Have the recommendations been implemented? Has the approach worked? Are the standards and regulations advocated relevant in today's media marketplace? What has experience taught us about broadcast regulation and public interest obligations?

Conference Agenda:

8:30 a.m. - Welcome: Thomas Hazlett, Professor of Law and Economics, George Mason University School of Law, Director, Information Economy Project

8:45 a.m. - Gigi Sohn, President, Public Knowledge, Member of the Advisory Committee on Public Interest Obligations of Digital Television Broadcasters ("Gore Commission")

9:30 a.m. - Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute, Co-Chair, Gore Commission

10:15 a.m. - Henry Geller, Retired General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission, 1964-70, Assistant to FCC Chairman Dean Burch, 1970-1974, Administrator of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, 1978-1981

11:00 a.m. - Adjourn

Transcript (Prepared by IEP Staff - not exact, but close to verbatim)

Information Economy Project
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