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Record No: Res 31673    Version: Council Bill No:
Type: Resolution (Res) Status: Adopted
Current Controlling Legislative Body City Clerk
On agenda: 6/27/2016
Ordinance No:
Title: A RESOLUTION affirming the Seattle City Council's commitment to high quality locally produced broadcast news to effectively inform the public in the case of emergencies.
Sponsors: Kshama Sawant, Lisa Herbold
Supporting documents: 1. Summary and Fiscal Note, 2. IATSE Presentation, 3. Signed Resn 31673
CITY OF SEATTLE
RESOLUTION _________________
title
A RESOLUTION affirming the Seattle City Council's commitment to high quality locally produced broadcast news to effectively inform the public in the case of emergencies.
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WHEREAS, in 1949 KING 5 was established as the only broadcast television station in the Pacific Northwest, and under the leadership of Dorothy Bullitt, the first woman to buy and manage a television station in the United States, became one of the first local TV news operation in the country, with a national reputation for public service and innovation; and
WHEREAS, broadcast television stations use public spectrum airwaves owned by the people of the United States, under license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and in that license are required to "render such broadcasting service as will serve the public interest" as trustees for the public; and
WHEREAS, residents and local governments rely on professional local broadcast television personnel to collect and disseminate vital information; including to provide real-time information during public emergencies (e.g., earthquakes, wildfires, and increasingly frequent extreme weather events) when other wireline and wireless communications and/or electric power distribution facilities may be disrupted; and
WHEREAS, the special responsibility of local broadcasters in public emergencies was recognized in 2015 by the Oregon Legislature through the enactment of Oregon House Bill 2210 (ORS 401.239); designating local broadcasters as "First Informers" to complement "First Responders" (fire, police, etc.) and allocating specific responsibilities and privileges to professional local broadcast staff in public emergencies; and
WHEREAS, in 2013 Tegna Inc. (formerly Gannett Co. Inc.) acquired ownership of the Belo Corporation, which owns KING 5; and
WHEREAS, IATSE 600 and IBEW 46 have reported that KING 5 has introduced cutbacks in their news operations, introducing a greater focus on repurposi...

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