The Fairness Doctrine Essay

The Fairness Doctrine Essay

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The United States Federal Communications Commission, also known as the FCC, introduced the Fairness Doctrine to make broadcasters report controversial issues of public importance in a manner that was equally balanced, honest, and fair. Broadcasting companies were required to provide a certain amount of airtime reporting accurate and fair information both for and against public issues. Broadcasters were not required to provide equal time for opposing views, but were required to present opposing viewpoints. Broadcasters were received broader boundaries as how to how they were to provide those opposing views. Because under the constitutional right of free speech, the government wanted to insure that broadcasting companies provided both accurate and fair information from both sides of the viewpoint.

In August 1987, the FCC abolished the doctrine by a 4-0 vote, in the Syracuse Peace Council decision, which was upheld by a different panel of the Appeals Court for the D.C. Circuit in February, 1989.(AuBuchon) They suggested that because of the large amount of voices in the media marketplace, the doctrine was to be considered unconstitutional; stating that, “The intrusion by government into the content of programming occasioned by the enforcement of The Fairness Doctrine restricts the journalistic freedom of broadcasters and actually inhibits the presentation of controversial issues of public importance to the detriment of the public and the degradation of the editorial prerogative of broadcast journalists.” (Fairness) The government was trying to keep any broadcasting networks for personally attaching someone or some issue without giving that person or organization the opportunity to express their point of views and reasons. If ...

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...of nations, countries, cities, towns, and individuals can be severely harmed and damaged if there is no control on the information being disbursed through the vast communication devices available. While everyone cites the right to freedom of speech, it is sometimes forgotten about the part that states as long as it doesn’t harm another person is often overlooked.

Works Cited

AuBuchon, D. (2009, April 5). Freedom of Speech and the Fairness Doctrine by:Dennis AuBuchon | American Conservative Daily (c) 2010. American Conservative Daily (C) 2010. Retrieved February 4, 2011, from

Fairness Doctrine - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. (2011, January 15). Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved February 4, 2011, from

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