What is in this article?:
Will official local boards of censors at each local radio and TV station ensure that stations comply with the FCC’s proposed new Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine or lose their license?
Special Staff Report says no
In 2011, a Special Staff Report on the FCC investigated whether the Fairness Doctrine should be brought back and the new rules adopted. The Special Staff Report concluded this would be against the public interest and such a proceeding should not continue. Since then, the Commission Chairman has refused to dismiss it, which means it’s still pending. All it takes is three votes to restart the censorship atmosphere. It’s that close.
What can you do? Get the word out. The Localism, Balance and Diversity Doctrine has been around in proposal form for a year or so, but now it is all being done behind the scenes in Washington D.C. with virtually no publicity. All a private citizen can do is to contact your congressperson, state senators and Congressional Commerce Committee members listed here and the Senate Commerce Committee members listed here.
Nothing speaks louder than a well thought out hand-written, signed and mailed letter, although phone calls and e-mails may have a some effect, too. Numbers speak louder than words.
In the early 1970s at The University of Kansas' journalism school, I took two Propaganda and Censorship courses. I thought everyone in J-schools across America agreed with Professor Calder Pickett’s passionate appeals for future journalists to be vigilant for this kind of activity. "Never again." he used to say. If you read it here first, apparently not everyone agreed.
Editor’s note: Corydon B. Dunham is a Harvard Law School graduate. His Government Control of News study was initiated at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Smithsonian Institute, and expanded and developed for the Corydon B. Dunham Fellowship for the First Amendment at Harvard Law School and the Dunham Open Forum for First Amendment Values at Bowdoin College. In addition to his long legal career at NBC, he was on the board of directors of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Corporate Counsel Association, and American Arbitration Association among other posts. His 2012 book, "Government Control of News: A Constitutional Challenge,” is written with footnotes, citations and references so readers can decide for themselves the seriousness of the threats.