Business

Public broadcasters ponder political ads

Public radio and television stations are weighing the opportunities and risks of accepting political advertising following a federal court ruling that found an existing ban on such ads violates the First Amendment, and that running them would not undermine public broadcasting’s mission.

The decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in California comes as candidates and political action groups are stockpiling millions of dollars for an election year advertising blitz expected to break records. While the ruling applies only to California and eight other western states, it could set a precedent, forcing public broadcasters nationwide to grapple with whether political ads would alienate listeners and viewers they depend on for donations.

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