FACT CHECK: Did Fox News Change Its Accreditation From ‘News’ To ‘Entertainment’?

Jonathan Fonti | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook claims Fox News changed its accreditation from “news” to “entertainment.”

Verdict: False

No regulatory agency assigns accreditations to media organizations. Spokespeople from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Fox News debunked the claim in emails to the Daily Caller.

Fact Check:

A viral post making the rounds on Facebook falsely alleges Fox News changed its accreditation from “news” to “entertainment,” suggesting the cable news network took such action so that its reporting doesn’t have to contain facts.

“They have changed their accreditation to ‘entertainment.’ They legally don’t have to provide any facts in their reporting,” reads the post. “Fox News is in the same category as ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ‘Laugh-In,’ and ‘Swamp People.’ You don’t have to believe me, look it up yourself.”

There is, however, no regulatory agency that assigns accreditations to media organizations. The FCC does regulate licensing and over-the-air broadcasts, according to its website, but it doesn’t require media organizations to categorize themselves in such a manner.

“This claim is false,” an FCC spokesperson said in an email to the Caller. “The FCC does not have any rules or licensing requirements in which a cable channel might categorize itself as news vs. entertainment.”

Carly Shanahan, a Fox News spokeswoman, also told the Caller in an email that the post’s claim was false. (RELATED: No, Fox News Didn’t Stage A Photo Of Trump Visiting Troops In Afghanistan)

Snopes reported that Free Wood Post, a parody news website, published a satirical article about Fox News changing its accreditation from “news” to “satire” in 2013. It’s possible the image, posted Jan. 12, may have stemmed from that article, though it clearly disclaimed its satirical nature.

Jonathan Fonti

Fact Check Reporter
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