Presentation on theme: "WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BROADCAST MEDIA? The Fairness Doctrine On Trial."— Presentation transcript:
WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF BROADCAST MEDIA? The Fairness Doctrine On Trial
What is Fairness Doctrine? Passed by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1949 Required broadcasters to air controversial matters AND to air contrasting views of those matters Repealed in 1987 by FCC Panel under Reagan Administration
Where did it come from? Originally evolved from the 1934 Communications Act Provisions also require broadcasters to notify individuals/groups who were attacked and to offer free response time for those with differing opinions who cannot afford it
Why the Fairness Doctrine? Original justification comes from the scarcity of radio airwaves/frequency Scarce resources = limited licenses Airwaves as a public entity– hence entitled to governmental regulation
Opponents claim Doctrine outdated– technological advancement led to a profuse of media outlets… i.e. no longer scarce! Controversy over First Amendment right to free speech Is the Doctrine a violation to the Constitution?
Problems with the Doctrine U.S. Supreme Court: No “A license permits broadcasting, but the licensee has no constitutional right to be the one who holds the license or to monopolize a radio frequency to the exclusion of his fellow citizens. There is nothing in the First Amendment which prevents the Government from requiring a licensee to share his frequency with others.... It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount.” (Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v FCC, 395 U.S. 367 )
Problems with the Doctrine Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman (1981-1987) appointed by Reagan argues: Chilling Effect- Fairness Doctrine ‘chills down’ airing of controversial issues because of the heavy burdens on broadcasters So they just don’t air matters of controversy anyway!
Fairness Doctrine- Near Future Obama Administration said vocally that it does not support reinstatement of the Doctrine Both Congress and executive show little intention to revive the Doctrine What will the future of broadcasting industry be?
Questions to think about Broadcast industry as businesses – (free market, deregulation argument) But are the media merely business corporations? -What is the role of media in American democratic process? What is Freedom of Speech? Fair and balanced media, shouldn’t it be inherent in each station/channel Are you for or against the revival of Fairness Doctrine? Why?
Fairness Doctrine Thank you all for your attention :)