There’s nothing fair about it.

I want to be treated equally, I want my opinion to matter as much as the next person and I want to be informed in a knowledgeable and worldly way.  But I am not treated equally; I am a college student whose opinion is not taken seriously.  I am not wealthy and I do not know anyone of high statues therefor others opinions are more important then my own and the information I want to hear is pushed to the back burner for those who put profit over quality.

Today’s media has created the issue of content and distribution.  It is a problem of what is determined as information and now seen as relevant in today’s society, along with who get to view this information.  Is everyone well informed or only a select few?  “The media has tremendous potential to inform citizens about events and issues in their world, they also have unparalleled potential for abuse by political partisans and commercial interests” as our book states on page 92.  Is what’s being produced and distributed done in a fair way?  Does the media discuss different viewpoints to properly inform society?

Instead of having pluralistic media that promotes diversity within its content which is readily available to society we have a media that is neither vertically or horizontally diverse.  Although there may be different bias attached to news reports that seems to be the only evident difference.  CNN and FOX  may be known for their strong Democratic or Republican views but ultimately they will end up repeating each other’s stories with no real viable information, it becomes he said she said.  As our book discussed, “the Fairness Doctrine  was established to promote serious coverage of public issues and to ensure diversity by preventing any single viewpoint from dominating coverage”.  The doctrine was not meant to be restraining but instead was meant to balance the field through additional speech and different viewpoints by requiring stations to provide other programming.  Yet in the end growth became equivalent to diversity.  As the news industry began to make more money and as the number of TV and radio stations increased the Fairness Doctrine lost its support and by 1987 the FCC eliminated it.

So to follow the pattern that seems to be developing, high profiting large conglomerates benefited greatly from the FCC’s decision while the everyday person began to receive less and less relevant information presented in a one-sided manner.  I believe that if the people/society were able to maintain a strong input in the context of the media the Fairness Doctrine would still be around today along with a more diverse news outlet. However, as humans we are subjective to our surrounding by nature.  To be objective you must go through the process of removing your own opinion from the facts, which is not something that is easily done especially when profit comes into play.  Our book discusses the fact that by “allowing the marketplace to exclusively determine the content of media can mean that only popular – and thus profitable – ideas are regularly heard and seen in commercial media”.  By eliminating the Fairness Doctrine it allowed for those with single-minded agendas to take root allowing for further political division to take place.  The system has removed the individual thought process; you are now feed information that can make the most profit while maintaining a particular ideology.

2 thoughts on “There’s nothing fair about it.”

  1. I find your argument very compelling. I find the repealing the of the Fairness Doctrine to be, for lack of a better word, unfair. It is unfair largely in the sense that those benefitting from its repeal are not the citizens whom the news is meant to inform, but rather the mass media conglomerates. In this system, the entire purpose of the news changes from objective information to biased persuasion. However, simply acknowledging the problem won’t change anything. What do you propose be done in order to make things more fair for the public? I don’t know exactly what needs to be done or what is plausible, but perhaps the Fairness Doctrine could be edited in such a way that accommodates for the growth in the media industry, as well as giving citizens the objectivity and information they deserve.

  2. I agree with your argument about there not being diversity within the media. Now it seems that every news station is reporting on the same things (as exemplified on TV and in video clips in class). I also agree that the Fairness Doctrine should not have been repealed when it was because of the high lack of diversity of content.

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