Wednesday, September 18, 2019

"Bostwiki" gives the history of the (old) Fairness Doctrine

Bostwiki, a journalist in New York City (he says he can see the new WTC from his apartment) explains the Fairness Doctrine, in a six-minute video.
I don’t recall hearing of the Mayflower Rule, which at one time had prohibited all political discussion on radio, in the days before TV.
Most parts of the Fairness Doctrine went away during the Reagan years as cable channels became more prominent and consumers had more choice.  That wasn’t always true;  when I moved from an apartment in Oak Lawn in Dallas to a condo in Pleasant Grove at the beginning of 1985, I found that area didn’t yet have cable. The closest was UHF and PBS. (I remember a night in early 1986 when PBS offered definitive coverage of AIDS as it was at the time, and also kuru, another mystery disease.)

A few provisions, like regarding personal attacks on public figures, didn’t go away until the early 2000’s.
Independent news channels on YouTube have grown up in an area where none of these rules matter, but YouTube, as we know, has been demonetizing independent political content on YouTube in favor of older legacy companies that grew up under different rules.
Obviously, I, as a Blogger, don’t have a “fairness doctrine” to worry about, but “free content” is becoming a hidden problem underneath the more obvious clickbait issue.  That’s because if may hollow out conventional political participation.

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