Law Review: The Fairness Doctrine: A Solution in Search of a Problem, by Adrian Cronauer


ACRU Staff


March 24, 2008

“This Article examines the history of the Fairness Doctrine and the more common arguments offered in support of it. If the Fairness Doctrine, as interpreted by the Commission, upheld by the courts, and encouraged by Congress(note 1) were to be reinstituted, it would actually decrease the likelihood of public exposure to varying viewpoints by discouraging broadcasters from covering controversial issues. Furthermore, market forces are achieving the intended effect of the Fairness Doctrine without directly restraining broadcasters. Today’s media-rich environment and the concurrent evolution of individual media outlets catering to specific constituencies, has already allowed the “invisible hand” phenomenon to work in the marketplace of ideas, just as it does in the commercial marketplace. As a result, the marketplace is achieving the sort of diversity and access the Fairness Doctrine was designed to foster but could never attain. Therefore, the Fairness Doctrine is not necessary in today’s media, even though many commentators are trying to revitalize it.”



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