ERIC Number: ED217431
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Deregulation? Early Radio Policy Reconsidered.
Benjamin, Louise M.
In debating the merits of the deregulation of broadcasting, policy makers should be cognizant of the conditions that led originally to that regulation. An examination of (1) the letters and speeches of Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover, the first regulator of broadcasting; (2) the congressional debate over the regulatory issues of monopoly, censorship, scarcity, and listeners' rights; and (3) other contemporary documents reveals why, in the strong laissez-faire, marketplace-oriented atmosphere of the 1920s, radio policy makers strongly advocated federal regulation of the medium. The examination reveals that while scarcity of spectrum space first led to the Radio Act of 1927, early regulators recognized that the possible detrimental effect of monopoly and censorship also provided a strong rationale for radio regulation. The new law was seen as protecting the public's interest in radio because, under its provisions, no individual or corporation could monopolize broadcasting. Censorship by government was declared illegal and through the creation of an independent agency to regulate broadcasting, censorship by broadcasters was curtailed. Under the act, listener rights were firmly established, and stations were legally bound to operate in the public interest, convenience, and necessity. (FL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Radio Act 1927
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).