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FCC to publish race and gender scorecard of broadcasting workforce

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The Federal Communications Commission has reinstated a policy that mandates broadcasters file a document that lists the race and gender of its employees.

Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, a Democrat from New York, said the policy was not followed while Donald Trump was president of the United States.

“I look forward to restarting the collection of data from broadcasters and cable companies about the race and gender composition of their workforce,” Clarke said in a statement posted on her website. “This is not a new idea, nor is it a revolutionary one. In fact, we had already begun it some decades ago but as most things causing good trouble go, we precluded from its usage thanks to a U.S. Court of Appeals decision.”

“For many years, despite a collective effort to amass this information, we failed to truly utilize it in a way to ensure that the broadcast and cable industries become more equitable,” Clarke said.

FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr, a Republican who was appointed to the committee by Trump, took to X to post a dissenting statement.

Carr stated the FCC could collect the data and release it in aggregate form so no specific business could be identified. Instead, Carr said the FCC will “now publish a race and gender scorecard for each and every TV and radio broadcast station in the country.”

“The record makes clear that the FCC is choosing to publish these scorecards for one and only one reason: to ensure that individual businesses are targeted and pressured into making decisions based on race and gender,” Carr said in a statement.

“The FCC’s authority to promulgate EEO [equal employment opportunity] regulations derives from various federal statutes that prohibit FCC licensees from discriminating in their employment practices and require them to adopt ‘positive recruitment, [job] training’ and other measures to ensure ‘equality of opportunity,"” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The FCC’s practices of tracking the race of employees have been challenged in court.