Advancing Justice | AAJC Applauds the FCC Decision to Reinstate Equal Employment Data (EEO) From Broadcasters

After 20 years, the FCC voted in a 3-2 vote to reinstate the collection of workforce composition data, a critical step towards transparency & accountability
For Immediate Release
Michelle Boykins (202) 296-2300, ext. 0144

Washington, DC - On Thursday February 22nd, the Federal Communications Commission voted in a 3-2 decision led by Commissioners Rosenworcel, Starks, and Gomez to reinstate the collection of equal employment data (EEO) from broadcasters.

After suspending this requirement nearly 20 years ago, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) celebrates the Federal Communications Commission’s decision to reinstate the collection of equal employment data (EEO) for television and radio broadcasters. This collection of workforce composition data is a critical step towards transparency and accountability in the broadcasting industry and underscores the importance of diversity and representation in media.

Diversity in the workforce is essential for fostering a media landscape that reflects the rich tapestry of our society. As said by Commissioner Starks, when employees and decision-makers reflect the diversity of their viewers, listeners, and readers, it leads to more inclusive content that represents their audience.

The media has tremendous power to shape social and political culture, but Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have historically been both underrepresented and understudied as participants in the broadcast industry. According to the Asian American Journalist Association, though nearly half (48.3%) of the AAPI populations live in the top 20 designated market areas, 25% of the stations have no AAPIs on air and 70% of local TV stations do not have a proportionate number of on-air staff compared to their local AAPI populations.

As civil rights advocates, we know how critical it is that AAPI communities are adequately represented and accurately covered in the media, particularly during times of increased anti-Asian violence and xenophobia.

By reinstating the collection of workforce composition data, the FCC sends a clear message that diversity and inclusion are non-negotiable principles in the broadcasting industry. Advancing Justice | AAJC applauds the FCC’s commitment to promoting diversity in broadcasting and thanks Chairwoman Rosenworcel, Commissioner Starks, and the 27 members of Congress that were instrumental in supporting this decision.