No more Fairness in US political reporting rules

The Fairness Doctrine for media, which began in America nearly 60 years ago as a means of giving equal time to differing political views on radio and tv is about to be eliminated as part of 83 media rule changes. The FCC has not enforced the doctrine in 20 years, preferring to let a ‘free speech’ philosophy take its course.


FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said the doctrine, whatever its intentions, “holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas.”


Commenting on the change, one article in Investors Magazine  said: “Even when there were just three TV networks and a relative handful of radio stations, the idea that the federal government should determine the proper balance of political viewpoints was an abomination.”

While the Supreme Court upheld the doctrine in 1969, it concluded in 1974 that it “inescapably dampens the vigor and limits the variety of public debate.”

Later, in 1987, the FCC itself said the doctrine “had the net effect of reducing, rather than enhancing,” the discussion of controversial topics. It voted that year to overturn the rule, and hasn’t enforced it since.


A full release, mentioning all the rule changes, can be found at the link below.