The Fairness Doctrine

1461 Words6 Pages
What would the world be like without the radio? Well, that radio-less world only became extinct in 1895 when Guglielmo Marconi created the radio. When first discovered, the radio system in 1895 was very basic as it only utilized one spectrum of radio waves called the AM band. However, as it continued to develop, another spectrum, known as the FM band, was found to produce a better quality of sound. The music industry quickly began switching to the newer spectrum, thus leaving the AM band behind, up for anyone to occupy. It was this time the political talk shows, who previously didn’t have a spot on the AM band due to competition with music stations, stepped in the world of radio. So, in attempts to regulate the new industry, but seeing that…show more content…
The Doctrine proved its ineffectiveness through its irritating and nitpicky regulations. Its procedure of reporting suspected violations, according to the respected Gale Encyclopedia of American Law, consisted of filing a complaint with the FCC, the FCC investigating the complaint, and then distributing disciplinary action, such as refusing to renew the stations’ licenses. The regulations especially frustrated the radio stations, as the print medium seemingly was never as controlled as the radio medium (“Fairness Doctrine”). As vice president of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Mark Lloyd points out, “the image of eager federal bureaucrats peering over the shoulders of all of America 's radio talk show hosts with a stopwatch in hand is as absurd as it is impractical,” (Lloyd). While the Doctrine was still in effect, the Supreme Court, when ruling on the constitutionality of the Doctrine, first stated, “Congress need not stand idly by and permit those with licenses to ignore the problems which beset the people or to exclude from the airwaves anything but their own views of fundamental questions,” (Monks). However, as explained by FCC chairman Mark Fowler, “the perception of broadcasters as community trustees should be replaced by a view of broadcasters as marketplace participants," or that it should remain up to the radio’s audience to keep the balance of ideas by listening to a variety of stations (Monks). Plus, opponents of the Doctrine pointed out that radio medium was and is not the only medium available to express political opinions, thus suggesting the Fairness Doctrine inapplicable since it would only regulate one and not all of the many media
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