Requirements for LPFMs When a Political Candidate Requests an Interview
What are the requirements for a low-power FM station if a candidate for public office requests an interview?
Community radio stations, including LPFM stations, are not required to interview candidates who request interviews. Stations are also not permitted to favor particular candidates. FCC policy states:
“In making time available to candidates for public office, no licensee shall make any discrimination between candidates in practices, regulations, facilities, or services for or in connection with the service rendered pursuant to this part, or make or give any preference to any candidate for public office or subject any such candidate to any prejudice or disadvantage; nor shall any licensee make any contract or other agreement which shall have the effect of permitting any legally qualified candidate for any public office to broadcast to the exclusion of other legally qualified candidates for the same public office.”
The FCC requires LPFM community radio stations to keep a political file as part of their regulatory obligations. Within that political file, LPFM stations should maintain a list of all requests made by candidates for public office or their representatives for airtime. This list can include, date, time and appropriate documentation of the email, call or visit. The station in its file should document the decision rendered following requests, including whether the station abided by the request. LPFM political files should collect candidate requests, regardless of the office – none is too insignificant for the purposes of your political file.
This information is provided by the National Federation of Community Broadcasters