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N.Y. Dem Wants to Restore National Radio Caps, Return Fairness Doctrine

N.Y. Dem Wants to Restore National Radio Caps, Return Fairness Doctrine

Meanwhile, Democrat Rep. Maurice Hinchey of New York is drafting legislation that would affect radio if passed. “The Reclaiming the Public’s Airwaves Act” would restore radio’s national ownership cap, strengthen the local radio ownership caps, as well as reverse all the media ownership rules just passed by the FCC. The bill would also restore the Fairness Doctrine, requiring broadcasters to give equal time to opposing points of view. broadcast licensees to provide a reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views on issues of public importance. The FCC jettisoned the Fairness Doctrine when Ronald Reagan was president.
Hinchey was one of 16 House members to oppose the ’96 Telecom Act.
“Today, three companies own half the radio stations in America,” he stated. “Two-thirds of America’s independent newspapers have disappeared since 1975 and nearly three-quarters of the country’s media markets have only one local daily newspaper. One-third of the nation’s independent TV stations have vanished.”
“The result is that local news coverage is neglected, political opinion is censored and entertainment is degraded. Even popular musicians are banned from broadcast if they express political opinions that the media magnates dislike.
“The public airwaves belong to the public, not the media elites. In the past, broadcasters had to show that their programming was serving the public interest when they applied for renewal of their license every eight years. But now the FCC has made these renewals virtually automatic.”