The FCC Says No Phone Interviews without Consent

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The FCC is strictly enforcing its rules about broadcasting phone conversations, whether live or recorded for later broadcast.

The rules require that BEFORE broadcasting or recording a phone conversation for later broadcast (i.e. podcast), you must inform any party to the call of your intention to broadcast the conversation.  This means that you must begin each conversation with a notice that you are broadcasting or recording the call.

There are exceptions, where the party is aware, or may be presumed to be aware of the circumstances of the conversation–that it is being or likely will be broadcast.  The FCC presumes such awareness only where the other party is associated with the station, or where the other party initiates the call to a call-in program where it is obvious the caller will be on the air.

Most of the problems that the FCC deals with arise from commercial stations making calls to people–and putting the calls on the air without notifying the other party that they are doing so.  I’m not aware that community radio stations make these kinds of call-outs.  Still, stations should be careful about using phone conversations on the air without the explicit permission of the party.  If you’re recording for later broadcast, get yourself on the recording informing the other party and get their verbal ok.

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