Radio Facts: Bill would ban reimposition of Fairness Doctrine —
WASHINGTON, DC – The National Association of Broadcasters today applauded the introduction of the Broadcaster Freedom Act, legislation that would bar the reimposition of the Fairness Doctrine. A Senate version (S. 34) of the bill was introduced yesterday by Sens. Jim DeMint (R-SC) and John Thune (R-SC). Legislation offered in the U.S. House of Representatives (H.R. 226) is sponsored by Reps. Mike Pence (R-IN) and Greg Walden (R-OR).
The Fairness Doctrine, first implemented in the 1940s, required broadcasters to air contrasting viewpoints on controversial issues of public importance. It was eliminated in 1987 after the Federal Communications Commission found it had a “chilling effect” on free speech.
Commenting on yesterday's action, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton said, “Since the Fairness Doctrine's elimination in 1987, America has witnessed an absolute explosion in alternative media outlets, providing a rich diversity of viewpoints from all sides of the political spectrum. NAB salutes these lawmakers for their dedication to ensuring Americans have continued access to a free and robust press unfettered from government interference.”