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Surprising words… waiting to bust out!

By: Michael Riddle
By: Michael Riddle

The Federal Communications Commission is considering imposing new rules regarding the way viewers communicate with local broadcasters.

Last week I mentioned that I would share some interesting and provocative e-mails with you.

The Federal Communications Commission is considering imposing new rules regarding the way viewers communicate with local broadcasters.

For many years we have been required to put letters, and now e-mails, from viewers in our public file. That file sits in my office, but rarely does anyone come to visit me and look at the file.

I used to give my communication students at East Carolina University an assignment to go to a local TV or Radio station and ask to view the public file. Most stations were surprised by these visits. The students were surprised by what they read!

The FCC might require us to post every viewer e-mail that we receive to www.witntv.com.

Some folks may want to pause before they hit that “Send” button.

A recent e-mail to WITN-TV read, “I’m a brash tactless person and I’m hoping you (Mike, or whoever reads Mike’s e-mail) can take these criticisms of mine and use them constructively…” while another viewer flamed in bold capital letters about the lottery writing, “YOU NUMBER MUST BE EXACT IN ORDER FOR YOU TO COLLECT ON THE “EXACT & ANY”!!!! … OH AND BY THE WAY THAT IS EXACTLY THE WAY IT READS ON YOUR scale that is posted on the internet….. EXACT/ANY!!!!!…”

One critic, a principal at a local elementary school, sent his pointed criticisms from his work e-mail signing his name and title, while another critic signed off using his title at a prominent local company.

A couple of women shared their argument back and forth over the way a charity “penny drive” was conducted at a local school.

One viewer freely admitted that, “I know this may seem like a silly and trivial e-mail”… while another begged that we, “Please just e-mail me back. You do not have to announce anything on tv just shoot me an e-mail when you get a chance. Everyone would laugh if they knew I was writing you and asking this. So please do not announce anything.”

If the F.C.C. decides to implement these rules, then we will be required to post every one of these e-mails on the Internet, at www.witntv.com.

When that happens we won’t have any choice but to share these with the world and “announce” every word that you have to say to us.
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