Reporting Paul Kurtz
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The Federal Communications Commission has officially done away with the Fairness Doctrine, which once had a major influence on how the media covered politics.
The Fairness Doctrine has been on life support since 1987, when the Reagan administration stopped enforcing it, but over the years there has been talk of possibly reviving it.
But FCC chairman Julius Genachowski has put the matter to rest for good after announcing that he’s wiping what he calls an “obsolete” provision off the books.
“Back in the ’80s it chilled a lot of broadcasters into just believing, ‘Look, I don’t need the hassle. I don’t want some federal bureaucrat calling me up on the telephone saying, “Hey, you aired this-and-such commentary at this-and-such time and we want the tapes so we can clock how long the opinion was and now you need to offer an opposing point of view.” ‘ People just got out of the opinion business.”
The Fairness Doctrine was introduced in 1949, relying on the argument that broadcast spectrum space, in the area before cable and digital delivery, was limited.
Reported by Paul Kurtz, KYW Newsradio 1060