The End of the Fairness Doctrine

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Washington - Aug 29, 2011 - After years of non-enforcement, the Federal Communications Commission has removed the Fairness Doctrine from the Rules. The Fairness Doctrine required broadcasters to balance opposing views on controversial issues of public significance.

The FCC rescinded the policy in 1987, but the rules remained in federal regulations. There have been efforts to resurrect the Fairness Doctrine over the past few years, which have spurred heated discussions for and against it. When the rules were removed on Aug. 22, 2011, the FCC noted that it was on of more than 80 outdated and obsolete media–related rules that were deleted.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who opposed the Fairness Doctrine language, said removing the language "will remove an unnecessary distraction." He added, "Striking this from our books ensures there can be no mistake that what has long been a dead letter remains dead. The Fairness Doctrine holds the potential to chill free speech and the free flow of ideas and was properly abandoned over two decades ago."

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