When the Fairness Doctrine became law in 1949, its purpose was to ensure that broadcasters presented both sides of controversial issues. Interestingly, they were not required to provide equal time, but simply to provide balanced views on important issues and avoid one-sided reporting, especially since access to programs and airways was limited. Because of the proliferation of news channels, the law was eliminated in 1987. However, this did not lead to a better-informed public. Many people still do not have access to cable networks, and those that do get caught up in the tirades of specific individuals who present their points of view without the need to defend their views from counterattacks. Some version of the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated.
For example, FOX "news" labels themselves as a "fair and balanced" news organization. However, they spend 24 hours a day, consistently lying to their viewers, and spreading false rumors about the President of the United States. Unfortunately, there are a small fraction of citizens in this country who believe the lies on this network. I believe some of what they have done on television requires jail time. They even do, at times, promote hatred and violence in the country.
Ever since it has been lifted, misinformation and personal attacks have been increasing, especially on right wing shows and radio. This has led to mass misinformation and even deaths of individuals for whom these hosts have constantly attacked and suggested action against. The right wing poison has been going on for far too long.
The Fairness Doctrine was based on the concept of “spectrum scarcity”. This refers to the physical limitation of airwaves, which creates a restriction on the number of stations available for use. Limited airwaves are maintained to guarantee the public’s interest.
The Fairness Doctrines underscores an important fact, the airwaves are a public resource, not private property.
The doctrine reaffirmed the congressional mandate that radio and television be maintained as a medium of free speech for the general public rather than as an outlet for the personal or private interests of the licensee. It read,” A broadcast licensee shall afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of conflicting views on matters of public importance.” IT ACTUALLY ENFORCES 1st amendment rights. As trustees of a scarce public resource, licensees accept certain public interest obligations in exchange for the exclusive use of limited public airwaves.
The right has complete control of the public airways. They spout whatever they want and dumb down the masses with there repetition of their misguided views. There are never any clear reasons for their stance, just some firebrick belief structures built upon repetition. Callers will just back up what is said with no reasoning mixed in to support their view. Thus there is no deep thought process going on in this environment.
These radicals spout hate endlessly through out the day. They spread lies and distort the truth. Christian radio is another problem, we need to work to stamp out these spreads of falsehoods on the radio. Radio hosts should be at least allowed to rebut the wild accusations and lies that the right wing is spreading.
The Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated because it is, by definition, about fairness. Although we now have many more news outlets available to us than at any other time, information is tailored to specific audiences and one can't tell if one is being told unbiased information or being pandered to.
The consolidation of the media alone should be reason enough to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine. The resultant propaganda arm of the republican party, Fox News, and the universal recognition of same, shows the extent to which the public is being propagandized. This is what the Fairness Doctrine can fix.
The consolidation of the media means the public does NOT get the information they should be receiving by way of the freedom of the press and all media.
So few own the media that you have to search high and low to get the information you need to make an educated decision about anything. Most people do not have the time, ability or access to information to do this and should not be forced into accepting the premise that consolidated private profit for business is the be-all and end-all of our society.
The Federal Communications Commission should reintroduce the Fairness Doctrine in America, because it ensured that the license holders broadcast both sides of controversial issues in a balanced manner. This ensures that viewers and listeners are not influenced by a biased representation of the argument. In order to decide, the public must be given both sides of an argument.
Radio stations like FOX are polarizing. They make unsubstantiated claims based on emotions rather than facts. And people listen. I think, in the interest of giving people all the FACTS, they should present both sides of the issues in a way that is fair. It would cut down on racism and anger, and our country needs that.
Because of the absence of the Fairness Doctrine, AM radio has become a wasteland of far-right-wing, conservative, born-again, anti-science and anti-progressive hate speech. Some of these stations used to be my childhood favorites -- like WABC, which used to play Beatles and other great music. It's insufferable that on a day like today (President Obama's second term inauguration) I am still hearing intolerant idiots spouting their lies and venom without opposition.
Those opposing the fairness doctrine tend to forget that the airwaves belong to everyone. Station ownership is a privilege, not a right. With it comes responsibility to serve the public, not themselves and certainly not for airing their own political beliefs. Sorry if having greater government regulation is part of reinstating the Fairness Doctrine but if that is what is required to block those vested interests from using the broadcast spectrum to their own political ends, so be it.
Since the mass media is committed to ratings and considered the 4th branch of government, the fairness doctrine should be reinstated. Our government, which is a democracy, and democracy is dependent upon a well informed public, should be concerned with private media corporations poisoning the already bloated information out there via internet, print, etc. The mass media is just making our public more stupid instead of filling them in on all sides of the story. The mass media contributes to the bad taste, mob mentality and consumerism. Remember, you want these people to vote to be well informed, not stupid. Free market and free speech is defined by common sense, you can't shout in a library, courtroom, or movie theater any time you want, there are rules. You can't talk on your cell while driving and tell the cop you are exercising your free speech. Free market and mass media should be the same, there should be boundaries when it's negatively effecting government run by the majority, i.e. a democracy. The mass media should be held at a higher standard...being free to confuse millions of minds who are already not participating in politics (limited participation) because of misinformation. Until the government actually follows through more extensively on it's scope of governmental responsibilities, i.e. like socializing the youth, then we need the fairness doctrine during this bad time. In the long run, kids need to have more education on government policies. Heck let kids in elementary school take POLS2 classes.
Overwhelmingly, media is owned by the few, 8 companies, I believe. All of the companies have and push one point of view - theirs, and the ideology that benefits them. Americans deserve the truth to make informed decisions - exacting what these companies do not want; they want uneducated, non-thinking sponges to soak up their rhetoric so these people will go vote against their own interest.
Need you ask????? Simply look at history. Including what is now history in Arizona. Our forefathers would be ashamed of what we have become and the civilized Countries of the world are shocked at our violent politics and lifestyle. Vitriolic retoric has consumed the airwaves. And all for money. Rush is one of the wealtheist people in this country. There is really something wrong with that picture.
Expect violence when people with influence use terms like reload, target, etc... Was the President in Sara P-Aliens crosshairs to? "The use of rhetoric designed to provoke violently emotional reactions, hatred and political division, is a gross disservice to our nation." What is wrong with civility and fairness??? Fairness does not violate the intent of the first amendment... rhetoric that incites violence violates my First Amendment rights and the rights of my children. Shouldn't even be a question about it??? Amazing.
This is a no brainer. Most human beings prefer fairness. A large portion of seemingly intelligent Americans do not realize they are the victims of the disinformation campaign. The power of the media is clearly underrated. Ronald Reagan knew the power and discretely tossed the fairness doctrine into the garbage dump right next to Carter's photovoltaic panels.
The Fairness Doctrine, at the time it was introduced, was very important to making sure all media outlets provided quality content. However, at the time it was introduced, the television channel selection was generally limited to less then 10 stations. In today's current society, where there are channels dedicated to animals, science, history, music and cartoons, it would not be conceptually relevant to require them to break with their niche and have a news program.
There is no reason why we should force private enterprise to support multiple viewpoints. If a particular company wants to express a certain view the only thing they should be required to do is disclaim their position. Making every radio station, television station, and newspaper play equal time on opposing viewpoints would kill the freedom of expression of this nation. If you don't want to listen to something then don't, but don't make everyone else listen to what you want to listen or jeopardize the livelihood of certain industries so that you can feel like everyone is 'well informed'.
The opportunity for sharing different political viewpoints is enormous, at this present time, with 14,000 radio stations now, versus the near 3,000 that existed when the doctrine was adopted. Giving the government something else to regulate, at a time when the goal is to cut back on unnecessary spending, seems unwise to me.
The Fairness Doctrine wants to have equal time for different political views on broadcasts for television and radio. Liberals complain that people do not listen to their commentators and the playing field is not fair. I believe that the American people are the best judges of who should be on the air. The audience votes with their ability to turn to another show if they do not like what they hear. There is no need to have a government mandate to try to balance out these broadcasts.
I have two main objections to the fairness doctrine. First, it mandates that private broadcasters be forced to present views that are contrary to their own opinions, and so infringes on their rights to free speech. Secondly, if puts the FCC in complete control of determining what constitutes fairness, and so it effectively mandates that the government regulate the flow of public opinion, which is contrary to the principles of the first amendment.
Media already has equal time rules, so why do they need the Fairness Doctrine? Businesses in this country have way too many rules and regulations. Some common sense needs to be instilled into the government and many of these type of rules should disappear. The people are the power in this country and they can decided what media outlet they would like to listen to, without government interference. News outlets should be fair and balanced. If I feel they are not, I change the channel.
Although the Fairness Doctrine seems like a good idea in principle; in fact it is a violation of a broadcaster's right to free speech. Journalistic bias is a fact of life, given journalists and editors are only human. It is the responsibility of individuals to understand it.
With the growth of the internet, it is possible for an educated and open-minded individual to obtain all possible views on any given event, including those of writers from outside the United States. The Fairness Doctrine is, therefore, rendered obsolete by technology.
I do not believe the Fairness Doctrine should be reinstated because their are many channels and stations and websites out there for everyone to state their opinions without over-regulation. I also believe that free speech is a very important right for every American citizen and don't want some bureaucrat making decisions on what is fair and what isn't. If you don't like a certain opinion, change the channel.
Radio and television stations should be allowed to promote a specific side of the political spectrum without interference by the government. Ultimately consumers/ listeners can choose to listen or watch if they want. Another problem with the fairness doctrine is deciding who gets to decide what "fairness" is. It ends up allowing one political side or the other to choose, depending on who is in office. Ultimately the consumer loses, because they have no choice in what they listen to, everything will be the same.
Consumers should be allowed to determine ultimately which programs are broadcast. Popular programs that are representative of the publics views and interests will prosper while those that are not will be axed. If there is a need to be filled you can be sure that the executives in broadcasting will develop a suitable program without the intervention of the government.
The Fairness Doctrine is based upon the idea that the government can and should dictate fair and equal time on subjects. It has been used to manage talk radio, micromanaging air time on subjects. Yet its application was unfair. Fairness Doctrine was never applied to television, despite a known left wing bias in all major networks except Fox News. Fairness Doctrine is never applied to newspapers, books, magazines - all of which are free to their own bias. Fairness Doctrine is not even applied to non-political topics. No one seriously screams lack of fairness during a gay marriage debate when the polygamist is not allowed an equal seat. The Fairness Doctrine by its narrowness is unfair in only applying to radio. And by applying it to all media, it stifles free speech. After all, one could silence a critic by finding as many sides as possible to the debate and mandating "fair share of time" to all kooks and quacks, silencing the real and serious discussion.
I believe strongly in the first amendment. Our forefathers understood that our creator gave us the right to speak freely. Our leaders today, Republican and Democrat alike have forgotten that. They only want to hear speech that supports their argument. There is nothing fair about limiting an individuals right to free speech. That is exactly what the fairness doctrine will do. Silence the opposition.
I believe this is one of the more heinous ideas currently being batted around. This is against everything our country was founded upon. I know that it has become increasingly popular to shred our Constitutional rights, but this is a big one. Our Constitution reads: "Congress shall make NO law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press." What happens when a law like this is in play. Brainwashing. You will only hear what the establishment wants you to hear. Our freedoms are what has made America so great and we are tearing our country apart internally.
Newspapers don't have to supply competing arguments nor carry any political topics whatsoever. Why would we force broadcasters to do so? I listen to my rock station for music. If I want political commentary, I'll change the channel. I also don't need a federal agency deciding for me what is a "fair" treatment.
It is important in a free society that the people decide who they want to comment on TV or radio. The government is naturally biased toward a party and platform. This may not be popular with the majority of the people. Requiring that an equal number of people from opposing viewpoints have to have equal time defeats free speech which includes choosing who you want to listen to.