Rhonda Brown


The Fairness Doctrine-and broadcasters' obligation to present both sides of controversial public issues-died last August in a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hearing room. Congress' attempts to prolong the Doctrine's life had been halted at the President's desk just six weeks before. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine has meant more than an end to a system of regulation that broadcasters claimed was onerous; it has caused a reversal of the "unusual order of First Amendment values" in broadcasting, under which the right of viewers and listeners to be informed is paramount to the right of station owners to determine what shall be broadcast. This Current Topic argues that the Doctrine's demise should also mean new life for the previously discarded concept of broadcast access, at least for editorial advertisements.

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