The Fairness Doctrine. The good old days. Why, when I was your age, radio and TV stations,
were “public trustees,” and as such had an obligation to afford reasonable opportunity for discussion of contrasting points of view on controversial issues of public importance.
This doctrine grew out of concern that because of the large number of applications for radio station being submitted and the limited number of frequencies available, broadcasters should make sure they did not use their stations simply as advocates with a singular perspective. Rather, they must allow all points of view.
Currently, however, there is no required balance of controversial issues as mandated by the fairness doctrine. The public relies instead on the judgment of broadcast journalists and its own reasoning ability to sort out one-sided or distorted coverage of an issue.
and from FAIR (1994)
The Fairness Doctrine doesn’t require that each program be internally balanced, or mandate “equal time”: It would not require that balance in the overall program line-up be anything close to 50/50. It merely prohibits a station from blasting away day after day from one perspective, without any opposing views.
Oh how far we have come, now that AM radio is 24-hours-a-day-7-days-a-week nothing more than a continuous Republicans Party advertisement, spewing hate and ridicule and nastiness and propaganda and insults and character assassination and slime.
Oh for the good old days. Reagan eliminated the Fairness Doctrine by executive action in 1987. Congress tried to restore it. Reagan and then Bush vetoed restoring the Fairness Doctrine after the Congress overwhelmingly voted to restore it, and then in 1993 the Republicans filibustered it to prevent it from passing. For SOME reason, the Republicans seem to think they benefit from there being no Fairness Doctrine.