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Free the Files

Help Unlock Election Spending

Outside groups are spending hundreds of millions to influence the coming elections. Help unlock outside spending by “freeing” political ad buys from television stations in swing markets.

Political Ad Data Comes Online — But It’s Not Searchable

The new system is a big step forward for those seeking to understand campaign ad spending, but it’s far from perfect.

Broadcasters Make Emergency Motion to Block Transparency Rule

The National Association of Broadcasters, an industry group representing television stations around the country, is asking a court to block the implementation of a new rule that will put political ad information online before it goes into effect next month.

Political Ad Transparency Rule Clears Another Hurdle

Over the objection of broadcasters, the Office of Management and Budget OKs measure to put political ad information on the Internet.

Republicans Back Down On Effort to Defund Transparency Rule

A House committee drops legislation that would have blocked an FCC rule to put political ad data online.

Media Companies Make Yet Another Push to Defang Transparency Rule

Broadcasters file a petition with the FCC to water down a new political ad disclosure rule.

Republicans Vote to Block Transparency on Political Ads

Language in appropriations bill would block funding for an FCC rule to put political ad data online.

New Disclosure Rules for Political Ads Could Take Months

Under a new Federal Communications Commission rule, political ad data showing election spending could be posted online as early as July — or much later.

Broadcasters Sue to...Block Transparency

The National Association of Broadcasters argue that the FCC's new rule requiring the posting of political ad data is "arbitrary" and "capricious."

FCC-Required Political Ad Data Disclosures Won't Be Searchable

The FCC vote on Friday mandating broadcaster disclosure comes with caveats.

Broadcasters' Last-Ditch Push to Hide Political Ad Data

Media giants are scrambling to water down a proposed FCC rule on disclosure that will be voted on Friday.

Public Files? Not On A Student Budget

Students checking public files at TV stations in Cleveland encountered unaffordable fees and camera-shy employees.

Meet the Media Companies Lobbying Against Transparency

Corporations that own some of the country’s biggest news outlets are fighting an FCC measure to post political ad data on the Internet.

Broadcasters Are ‘Against Transparency,’ Says FCC Chairman

Julius Genachowski criticizes TV stations for trying to keep political ad data off the Internet.

Behind Closed Doors, Broadcasters Battle Online Disclosure of Political Ad Buys

TV stations are taking their lobbying efforts directly to the FCC, which is expected to vote later this month on whether public data about what ads are bought, who bought them and for how much must be posted online.

Campaign Ads: How To Free the Files at Your TV Station

Whether you work for a news organization or not, we’re asking for help posting public data detailing what super PACs are spending on political ads. Here’s how to do it.

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