The USCCB’s primary legislative concerns in communications relate to ensuring a religious presence in mass communications by removing barriers the Church confronts in communicating its message; preserving the public’s access to information and its right to express a judgment on media licensed by the government; eliminating the presence of pornography and violence in the media, with special emphasis on protecting children; maximizing information and education programming in the media (e.g., fair coverage of views from all segments of society); advocating for high quality programming for children; and promoting diversity in ownership of communications outlets. We encourage you to visit the web site of the USCCB department of Communications for more information.
Legislative Issues in the 110th Congress:
Broadband/ Internet Access
Support legislation to prohibit internet service providers (ISPs) from interfering with or discriminating against users and internet content providers based on the content that providers are seeking to distribute.
Support legislation that narrows the gap separating low-income and underserved communities from the benefits of the information age.
Children and Media
Support constitutional efforts to reduce children’s exposure to violent, indecent, and/or obscene radio and television programming.
Copyright Protection/Fair Use
Oppose copyright legislation that would prevent Catholic schools, libraries and other educational institutions from making lawful use of copyrighted material to advance the education and scholarship of their communities.
Support legislation that would require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to establish specific obligations of digital television broadcasters to better serve the needs of children and parents, and all segments of the community.
Low Power FM Radio/Television
Support legislation that would authorize the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to lift existing limitations and extend Low Power FM radio service to many communities.
Overhaul of the 1996 Telecommunications Act
Support legislation that would authorize the full funding for the Universal Service telephone programs to ensure access to a range of services in low-income and rural areas.
Support legislation that would promote diversity and discourage consolidation of ownership of television and radio stations, cable systems and newspapers;
Support legislation to modify broadband-cable rules to protect the interests of noncommercial speakers on the Internet, such as Catholic Dioceses, schools and charities, and users seeking access to these sites;
Support legislation that would codify specific obligations of digital television broadcasters to better serve the needs of children and parents, the religious community, and all segments of the community, including: (a) requiring broadcasters to determine the needs and interests of their communities and make those needs public; (b) increasing the amount of local news and public affairs programming (including public service announcements); and (c) establishing minimum guidelines for locally originated and independently produced programming.