Fair and Balanced Bites the Dust
August 22, 2011 Leave a comment
The Federal Communications Commission‘s Chairman Julius Genachowski announced today the elimination of 83 outdated and obsolete media-related rules, including Fairness Doctrine regulations as part of the FCC’s reform agenda, which includes retrospective review of rules, elimination of rules that are no longer needed, and revision of rules to reflect changes in technology, thereby clearing the path for greater competition, investment and job creation.
Press Release: “The elimination of the obsolete Fairness Doctrine regulations will remove an unnecessary distraction. As I have said, striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago.”
The FCC’s Fairness Doctrine, in place since 1949, required the holders of broadcast licenses to present controversial issues of public importance in a manner that was honest, equitable and balanced.
The FCC, however, has not enforced the doctrine for 20 years, and is reflective of rules outdated by technology and greater competition. Nevertheless, in the past, there has been support for bringing back the Fairness Doctrine by various members of Congress.