FCC axes Fairness Doctrine, other old media regulations

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Reuters news service reports that the Federal Communications has formally removed 83 outdated media regulations from its rulebook, including the 1949 Fairness Doctrine that was to ensure the airing of balanced viewpoints on radio and TV.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski had said earlier this summer that the streamlining was planned.

“Striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead,” Genachowski said in a statement yesterday.

Reuters said Genachowski called the Fairness Doctrine an unnecessary distraction with the potential to curb free speech.

The rules had threatened to take away broadcasters’ licenses if they did not present opposing viewpoints. “Their elimination protects religious broadcasters, conservative talk radio shows and others worried about a possible resurgence of the doctrine,” Reuters said.

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