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Date: July 8, 2024
Foster Garvey Newsroom

Current logoFoster Garvey and a coalition of 18 public broadcaster clients recently led a successful push at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to include non-binary gender options on Form 395-B, an annual employment report that includes race and gender data for station employees. The coalition’s charge, grounded in the Communications Act of 1934, argued that without this revision, the FCC would fail to serve the public interest.

Communications, Telecom & Media attorney Brad Deutsch, who led the coalition’s efforts, discussed in a Current article the significance of the FCC’s decision and what it means for both attaining accuracy and acknowledging gender diversity within the regulated media sector.

“We now know that making people pick male or female isn’t actually giving you accurate information,” Deutsch said. “The world has changed since you last used this form 20 years ago.”

Separately, the coalition pointed out that various station ownership reports used across the broadcasting industry also lack inclusive gender options and recommended that the FCC consider a similar change on those forms.

Despite some opposition, which includes a petition for reconsideration and motion for stay by a group of 20 broadcast licensees and two Catholic nonprofit organizations, Deutsch remains confident. He clarified that the form update does not force anyone to do anything differently and simply creates a necessary option for accurate data reporting.

Read the full story in Current.

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