The below is an excerpt from the Washington State Democratic Platform, as passed by the elected delegates to the 2018 Washington State Convention, held in Wenatchee Washington on June 17th, 2018. You can find Resolutions passed by the WSDCC in the column to the right.
An informed citizenry and persistently inquisitive media are essential for democracy to flourish. The free flow of information is fundamental to democracy.
We call for:
- Broadcast frequencies and the Internet, which are owned by the public, to be managed to serve the public interest;
- Guaranteed continuing internet neutrality, by reclassifying the internet infrastructure as a common carrier, in which all users and content providers have equal access to Internet service, without discrimination or prioritization on the basis of source, destination, technology or ability to pay;
- Encouraging women, minority and community media ownership;
- Strengthening community-level, non-profit and non-commercial radio and TV;
- Ensuring that all Americans, including rural Americans, have affordable access to a modern communications infrastructure;
- Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine for broadcast media during election campaigns and making it applicable to cable networks, to promote greater balance in coverage;
- Increasing affordable access to high-speed Internet statewide;
- The Federal Communications Commission to reduce concentration of media ownership, restore local programming, and encourage multicultural and minority-owned media;
- Public radio and public television to be accorded adequate, stable funding free of political pressure;
- Freedom of Information Act time limits to be enforced and the Act funded;
- Reporting from theaters of war to be free of censorship, except as necessary to avoid revealing tactical information or endangering our troops;
- Prompt adjudication of claims of “national security” and other questionable classifications that delay timely news investigations;
- Journalists to be protected from unwarranted pressure to reveal their sources to outsiders (shield laws);
- Media to avoid publishing government-funded propaganda as news;
- Companies should fairly compensate local governments for their use of the public rights-of-way;
- Privacy of personal account user names and passwords;
- Television Washington (TVW) to be carried statewide, by all carriers;
- The enforcement of 47 USC § 315 – Candidates for Public Office. (The Equal Opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition; allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public interest; public issues discussion opportunities to all government controlled bandwidth and full funding and strict enforcement thereof); and extension to all publicly regulated media outlets;
- Exemption of non-commercial broadcasting from any requirement to take paid advertisements.
- False claims of “national security” to suppress investigative journalism;
- False and misleading (wrong and inaccurate) information spread by newspapers and radio or television programs under the guise of news.