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ERIC Number: ED184149
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
The Pacifica Case: The Supreme Court's New Regulatory Rationale for Broadcasting.
Trauth, Denise M.; Huffman, John L.
The rationale for broadcast regulation has undergone some changes over the years. At first, the rationale for such regulation was based on the concept that the airwaves are owned by the public and that the regulatory bodies act as agents for the public in controlling what is transmitted. In 1943, the United States Supreme Court built a rationale for regulation based on the limited radio frequency spectrum. This scarcity rationale later evolved into a preferred position rationale which said that once the scarcity rationale was applied, existing broadcasters are in a preferred position over others who might wish to enter the field and this alone could become the basis for regulation. In the "FCC v. Pacifica Foundation" case, the Supreme Court articulated a new rationale: the pervasiveness of the broadcast media. This was taken to mean that the broadcast media have established a uniquely pervasive presence in the lives of all Americans and that broadcasting is uniquely accessible to children. The implications of this rationale are that it allows the Federal Communications Commission to assume a protectionist stance toward regulation that is consistent with trends occurring in other regulatory bodies. (TJ)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Historical Materials; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: FCC v Pacifica Foundation; Federal Communications Commission; Supreme Courts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979)