Censorship in 1949 with the Fairness Doctrine

Essay by beezee822College, Undergraduate February 2006

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The "Fair"ness Doctrine?

Censorship has affected America even before it declared its independence. England was trying to prevent the spread of breaking away by punishing those who did. The effected was obviously not what they wanted since America is no longer governed by England. In this day and age, the same problem exists but between government regulation and people rights. This is a battle the government tries to win by sending bills through congress that restrict what Americans read, hear and see out in public. People should not be against some forms censorship because it keeps material in which anyone can acquire decent.

One attempt was in 1949 when the government initiated the Fairness Doctrine which was created to help enforce Section 315. Section 315 ensures that all political candidates are given an equal opportunity to broadcast on any station during an election year. This means that a radio station must allow both candidates to buy equal airtime to guarantee fairness.

To extend this to included controversial issues all the time, they added the Fairness Doctrine which requires station to do two things: (1) to air a controversial programs that affected there community directly, (2) must air both points of view. One example is when anti-smokers wanted smoking ads taken off the air, a compromise was created by also airing anti-smoking ads telling the harmful side effects of smoking. The document was revoked in 1987 when broadcasters fought that it was not even a true regulation but a mere extension of Section 315. They argued that all it did was add a burden that print did not have to deal with and therefore unfair. Supporters of the doctrine state that broadcasting can be more persuasive than print and must have a greater responsibility to their audience. Since radio/cable networks are...