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Action alert for political bloggers

Scott E. Thomas, of the Federal Election Commission is going to get hit hard by the poitical blogging community.

An effort by political blog heavy-hitters on both the left and the right is under way to send the message that political speech and opinion on blogs should not be regulated. The Online Coalition is sending letter to Scott Thomas, Chair of the FEC. Snippet:

One area of great concern is the potential regulation of bloggers and other online journalists who distribute political news and commentary exclusively over the web. While paid political advertising on the Internet should remain subject to FEC rules and regulations, curtailing blogs and other online publications will dampen the impact of new voices in the political process and will do a disservice to the millions of voters who rely on the web for original, insightful political commentary.

Under the current rules, “any news story, commentary, or editorial distributed through the facilities of any broadcasting station, newspaper, magazine, or other periodical publication,” is exempt from reporting and coordination requirements. It is not clear, however, that the FEC’s “media exemption” provides sufficient protection for those of us in the online journalism community.

As bipartisan members of the online journalism, blogging, and advertising community, we ask that you grant blogs and online publications the same consideration and protection as broadcast media, newspapers, or periodicals by clearly including them under the Federal Election Commission’s “media exemption” rule.

Take time to sign on if you agree (I’m little blogger signee #641, btw).

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding