ERIC Number: ED162380
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Address by Charles D. Ferris, Chairman, Federal Communications Commission before the New England Broadcasting Association, Boston, Massachusetts, July 21, 1978.
Ferris, Charles D.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is far more anxious to promote the First Amendment premise that broadcasters should air controversial programing than it is worried about the occasional use of "four-letter words" by broadcasters. The FCC and Supreme Court decisions in the "Pacifica" case affect only the broadcasting of a series of offensive words as a "verbal shock treatment" and have no implications for the isolated use of potentially offensive words. The FCC should not act as a censor but should increase programing choices through fostering increased competition and more outlets for expression in electronic media. Its highest priority continues to be to encourage bold, innovative, and controversial programing, not to discourage it. It also has the goal of increasing the diversity of programing for such groups as children, minorities, women, and the aged. Finally, the FCC is committed to the principle that broadcasters have an obligation to air controversial issues. Broadcasters therefore should not allow the "Pacifica" case to lead to timidity in their coverage of controversial subjects. (GW)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Federal Communications Commission
Note: Paper presented at the Regional Meeting of the New England Broadcasting Association (Boston, Massachusetts, July 21, 1978