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A Final Farewell to the Fairness Doctrine?

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Thaddeus Donating Member (291 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Oct-29-11 10:50 PM
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A Final Farewell to the Fairness Doctrine?
The Fairness Doctrine, one of the most famous and controversial media policies ever debated, suffered a final death-blow recently when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permanently struck it from the books. Often mistaken for the equal time rule for broadcasting political candidates, the doctrines purpose was more progressive than requiring two sides to a debate. It stipulated a two-part mandate that broadcasters must cover controversial issues of public importance, and do so in a way that represented contrasting views.

While the Fairness Doctrines effectiveness is debatable, it encouraged broadcasters to be mindful of programming biases. Now that its officially erased from the rules, we can pause to consider the decades-long saga of this oft-maligned and misunderstood doctrine. For its history reflects a number of surprising ironies in our nations approach to media policy.

Few people realize that the Fairness Doctrine resulted from deregulation. In 1949, despite public pressure for more aggressive media regulations, an earlier ban on broadcasters political editorializing was lifted. The Fairness Doctrine was a concession to widely held concerns that giving commercial broadcasters so much political power would lead to unchecked partisanship and one-sided arguments.

The doctrines legitimacy was unanimously affirmed by the Supreme Court in its 1969 Red Lion decision, which determined, It is the right of the viewers and listeners, not the right of the broadcasters, which is paramount. The First Amendments purpose, the Court argued, was to preserve a vibrant marketplace of ideas rather than defend broadcasters monopolization of the nations discourse.

Read the rest here: http://hnn.us/articles/final-farewell-fairness-doctrine
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snot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 03:03 AM
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1. Wow. Back in the day when the S. Ct. recognized that the Frist Amdt. had a purpose.
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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 04:16 AM
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2. Very interesting information. Thank you. n/t
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Thaddeus Donating Member (291 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 09:41 AM
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3. The Fairness Doctrine's history
is not well understood. Now that it's permanently dead, it seems that a post-mortem is in order...
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Marnie Donating Member (706 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Oct-30-11 12:41 PM
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4. The Obama Admin kisses the 1%'s back side once again.
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