Abolishing the Fairness Doctrine

Former Chairman Patrick explained the policy decision that preceded the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine, the reaction to it, and his… read more

Former Chairman Patrick explained the policy decision that preceded the abolition of the Fairness Doctrine, the reaction to it, and his thoughts on how media markets have fared in the wake of deregulation. After his presentation he responded to audience members' questions.

On August 4, 1987, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Dennis Patrick led the Commission to abolish the Fairness Doctrine governing radio and television broadcasters and establishing rules for airing editorial opinion on broadcast outlets. While the doctrine had been condemned by a variety of legal scholars as violating the First Amendment, it was staunchly supported by a political coalition of liberals and conservatives, and the policy to end it was controversial. The end of the fairness doctrine triggered a laissez faire approach to media content that carried over to cable TV networks, satellite systems, and the Internet. The ultimate impact of the policy is still debated. 

This event was held in the National Press Club First Amendment Room. close

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  • Polsby, Daniel Dean George Mason University, Arlington->School of Law
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Abolishing the Fairness Doctrine

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Program ID:
200008-1
Category:
Public Affairs Event
Format:
Speech
Location:
Washington, District of Columbia, United States
First Aired:
Jul 23, 2007
Last Aired:
Aug 8, 2007

Airing Details

  • Jul 23, 2007 | 10:33am EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Aug 01, 2007 | 4:39pm EDT | C-SPAN 3
  • Aug 08, 2007 | 3:10am EDT | C-SPAN 1
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