Read the Bills Act Coalition

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fairness Doctrine could effect web content as well

From Business and Media dot org:

There’s a huge concern among conservative talk radio hosts that reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine would all-but destroy the industry due to equal time constraints. But speech limits might not stop at radio. They could even be extended to include the Internet and “government dictating content policy.”...FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell raised that as a possibility after talking with bloggers at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. McDowell spoke about a recent FCC vote to bar Comcast from engaging in certain Internet practices – expanding the federal agency’s oversight of Internet networks. ...The commissioner, a 2006 President Bush appointee, told the Business & Media Institute the Fairness Doctrine could be intertwined with the net neutrality battle. The result might end with the government regulating content on the Web, he warned. McDowell, who was against reprimanding Comcast, said the net neutrality effort could win the support of “a few isolated conservatives” who may not fully realize the long-term effects of government regulation.....“I think the fear is that somehow large corporations will censor their content, their points of view, right,” McDowell said. “I think the bigger concern for them should be if you have government dictating content policy, which by the way would have a big First Amendment problem.” .... “Then, whoever is in charge of government is going to determine what is fair, under a so-called ‘Fairness Doctrine,’ which won’t be called that – it’ll be called something else,” McDowell said. “So, will Web sites, will bloggers have to give equal time or equal space on their Web site to opposing views rather than letting the marketplace of ideas determine that?”

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ConcreteBob said...

The "Fairness Doctrine" as it applies to talk radio, will be a problem, however, those of us who have blogs already allow different opinions in the form of comments. Granted, I purge all "anonymous" commenters on blogs I control, but that's only because I feel if you can't at least use a handle, your opinion doesn't matter to me.

Jody L. Wilcox said...

good point, if it is applied that way and what do you do about posts that do not recieve opposing comments (or any comments at all) will they have to be removed or countered in another fashion?..comments, in general, don't offend me or make me mad but anonymous ones frustrate me (and most bloggers I know) since it is hard to have a dialogue with a non-personal....stand up for what you believe in and put your "handle" to the comments...Anonymous has always seemed a little cowardly to me.