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Electromagnetic Spectrum

FCC made it a requirement that broadcasting should be done in the interest of public and as such, any discussion of public issues should be given a priority. This requirement to give services with public interest was considered a key trusteeship model.


Electromagnetic spectrum is considered a limited public resource and the broadcast license is emphasized on usage only for public interest. The FCC had the mandate to determine which applicant fulfils the license requirements in order to obtain them.

Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v.FCC Fairness Doctrine of 1969 was strongly supported by the Supreme Court citing its content constitutional. However, broadcasters had an opposite view on the doctrine and they claimed that it only encouraged censorship and not diversity. In 1987, the Fairness Doctrine was declared as an infringement of the First Amendment and it was repealed.  FCC had established the doctrine in order to help solve the controversies by promoting pluralism; Congress upheld it and in 1959, it was affirmed into the Communication Act.

Hiring practices of broadcasters were also considered in ensuring that public interest is served and to provide this, licenses were given only to broadcasters who showed non-discrimination in hiring, especially to women and disadvantaged people. However, broadcasters felt that the EEO rule was becoming too much for them; also the rule was both illogical and capricious.

Response to my two classmates

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) s regulated applicants for broadcast license. For radio broadcasting this body had the responsibility to decide on band, spectrum, and allocation of a channel. Introduction of other telecommunication technologies including cables, telegraph, and television expanded the mandate of FCC in licensing.

The Communications Act of 1934 was an expansion of the Radio Act of 1927 in order to accommodate upcoming telecommunications such as cable, telephone, and television. With this act came the paradigm of trusteeship which emphasized on serving public interest and working on condition that electromagnetic spectrum is a public limited resource.

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