FCC-Required Political Ad Data Disclosures Won’t Be Searchable - ProPublica
The only solution I can see in this situation is for someone to create a project to crawl the broadcaster websites daily and create a data dump. Without a common format and standard however, that’s going to entail some human labor to plug the resulting data into a searchable database.
The Federal Communications Commission voted 2-1 this morning to require broadcasters to post political ad data on the Web, making it easier for the public to see how as much as $3.2 billion will be spent on TV advertising in this election.
The files, which detail the times ads aired, how much they cost and whether stations rejected ad buy requests from campaigns, among other things, are currently available only on paper at each station.
The FCC rejected an industry push to water down the measure. But the adopted rule also has serious limits. For example, the data will not be searchable or uploaded in a common format.
The rule will first apply to affiliates of the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox) in the top 50 TV markets. All other stations will have until July 2014 to comply.
“[L] arge areas of some swing states, like Virginia, Missouri, Wisconsin and Michigan, could see an influx of advertising in markets outside of the top 50,” the Sunlight Foundation noted in an analysis today.