It was an idea so frail, it quickly died from exposure. The Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs—or CIN, pronounced “sin,” for short—was the brainchild of Mignon Clyburn, a Democratic member of the Federal Communications Commission and daughter of Rep. James Clyburn, the lone Democrat in South Carolina’s congressional delegation. Tim Cavanaugh, then of the Daily Caller, reported CIN’s existence in October, but it was a February 11 op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that gave the study national prominence. The latter article’s author, Republican-appointed commissioner Ajit Pai, explained:The purpose of the CIN, according to the FCC, is to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about “the process by which stories are selected” and how often stations cover “critical information needs,” along with “perceived station bias” and “perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.”
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