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Encyclopedia of Radio 3-Volume Set by Christopher H. Sterling

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F

FAIRNESS DOCTRINE

Controversial Issue Broadcasting Policy

Until 1987 (with related parts lasting until 2000), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adhered to a series of policy guidelines collectively called the fairness doctrine. These guidelines encouraged stations to cover issues of public controversy, and to provide a variety of points of view on those issues. Although they lasted, the policies were among the most controversial of all FCC program regulations.

Origin

A station licensee's duty to present diverse views on public issues was first declared by the Federal Radio Commission in 1928. A dozen years later, however, the FCC reversed direction when it strongly criticized a station for its practice of editorializing. In its 1941 ...

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