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ERIC Number: ED100305
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1974
Pages: 8
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
How "Fair" Should TV Be?
Hentoff, Nat
Lithopinion, n34 1974
The "Fairness Doctrine" amendment to the 1934 Communications Act has had a negative impact on radio and television broadcasting in the United States. While the amendment was intended to prevent the nation's airwaves from monopolization by individuals or groups with specific interests or viewpoints, it has, in fact, restrained freedom of expression. In so doing, the American public is being denied its First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The most compelling arguments in favor of granting the full protection of the First Amendment to radio and television licensees are set forth in the dissenting opinion of Chief Judge David Bazelon in "Brandywine-Mainline Radio v. Federal Communications Commission". Numerous examples of the inhibiting effects of the Fairness Doctrine can be cited, including executive level suppression of bold or controversial programing. The Fairness Doctrine has been justified on the basis of the limited number of frequencies available for assignment to licensees. However, there are currently 7,458 broadcasting stations in contrast to 1,749 daily newspapers. Most Americans now consider television and radio to be their most important news source. There is no factual basis for continuing to distinguish the printed word from the electronic press as the true news media. Television should, therefore, be emancipated from the Fairness Doctrine. (DC)
Publication Type: Books
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Television Information Office, New York, NY.
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment