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Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commission 395 U.S. 367 (1969)

RED LION BROADCASTING CO. v. FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION 395 U.S. 367 (1969)

The Federal Communications Commission promulgated fairness rules requiring balanced broadcasting on public issues. The Court answered first amendment challenges by arguing that different media required different constitutional standards, and that the scarcity of frequencies both necessitated government allocation and justified requirements that allocatees insure balanced programming. Comparing Red Lion to miami herald publishing co. v. tornillo (1974) indicates that electronic media enjoy less editorial freedom than do the print media. As technological developments undercut the scarcity rationale, the Court shifted toward an intrusiveness-into-the-home rationale for greater regulation of broadcasters.

Martin Shapiro
(1986)

(see also: Fairness Doctrine.)

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