The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will investigate whether a prominent journalist violated the law by accepting payment to promote President Bush's "No Child Left Behind" education policy.

Conservative commentator Armstrong Williams has admitted receiving $240,000 from the Department of Education to publicize the policy, but denies any wrongdoing.

Under U.S. communications law, a person who is paid to include program matter in a broadcast must inform the station transmitting the broadcast prior to airing it. The individual and the station are then required to disclose the payment when the subject matter is broadcast.

Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $10,000, a prison term of up to one year or both.

Some information provided by AP and Reuters.