FCC to collect and publish data on race and gender of broadcasters

The Federal Communications Commission has launched an initiative to collect data about the race, ethnicity, and gender of the employees at broadcast stations across the United States, an effort that one dissenting commissioner said would encourage discrimination.

The FCC voted 3-2 along party lines on Thursday in favor of requiring broadcasters to file a form, known as Form 395-B, that will require them to collect data about employee demographics and submit reports about them annually to the commission. The form was initially proposed in the 1990s but was suspended by the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia in 2001 over confidentiality concerns and remained suspended until the Biden administration. Under Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC launched a rulemaking in 2021 to refresh the practice but lacked enough Democratic commissioners to support it.
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