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Affirmative Action Challenged in Broadcasting

In an attempt to reverse an anti-affirmative action ruling affecting television and radio broadcasting hiring practices, a case may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Long-standing regulations urging broadcasters to seek and hire women and minorities were halted in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia last April.

A lawsuit brought about by the Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church lead to the case. The church’s involvement developed from their ownership of two radio stations.

An appeal to the Supreme Court is being decided by FCC Chairman William Kennard, who claims to want to “ensure a level playing field so that all Americans have the opportunity to participate in broadcasting.”

President of the National Association of Broadcasters, Edward Fitts, also provided support for the continued pursuit of women and minorities. “Broadcasters are committed to diversity in the work force and we are proud of our industry’s record. Despite the courts decision, we encourage the industry to continue vigorously pursuing this goal,” said Fitts.

Media Resources: Reuters - September 15, 1998



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