ERIC Number: ED253916
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Presidential Use of Television and the Reply Time Controversy.
Schiller, Scott S.
Presidential use of television has significantly increased over the last 20 years, with most requests for air time being accepted. This has put out-of-power political parties at a disadvantage when attempting to gain support for their platform. Although Section 315 of the Communications Act of 1934 provides for some response time to uninterrupted presidential addresses, it applies only to addresses delivered prior to a presidential election, and only after the President has legally declared himself a candidate. The fairness doctrine fails to provide for a mandatory uninterrupted reply time, requiring only that opposing viewpoints be brought out in regular network programing. Network executives provide opposing parties response time to the President whenever they deem it necessary. These journalistic decisions are not based on compliance with any particular statute. Although there have been a few congressional attempts to require mandatory response time, most network officials feel that such decisions should continue to be made by the networks. With the present move for deregulation in the industry gaining so much support, network executives may soon become the sole determiners of whose point of view on critical issues the nation will hear. This brings up the old question of who, if anyone, should become the watchdog over the media. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Communications Act 1934; Controversy; Fairness Doctrine; Media Use; Presidential Campaigns; Television Networks
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Central States Speech Association (Chicago, IL, April 12-14, 1984).