Archive for June 12th, 2013

June 12, 2013

False Balance

Today, false balance is used to describe a perceived or real media bias, where journalists present an issue as being more balanced between opposing viewpoints than the evidence actually supports.

Journalists may present evidence and arguments out of proportion to the actual evidence for each side, or may even actually suppress information which would establish one side’s claims as baseless.¬†False balance is also often found in political reports, company press releases, and general information from organizations with special interest groups in promoting their respective agendas.

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June 12, 2013

Fairness Doctrine

fairness doctrine hannity

The Fairness Doctrine was a policy of the FCC, introduced in 1949, that required the holders of broadcast licenses to both present controversial issues of public importance and to do so in a manner that was, in the Commission’s view, honest, equitable and balanced (i.e. air contrasting views regarding those matters).

The FCC decided to eliminate the Doctrine in 1987, and in 2011, formally removed the language that implemented it. Stations were given wide latitude as to how to provide contrasting views: It could be done through news segments, public affairs shows, or editorials. The doctrine did not require equal time for opposing views but required that contrasting viewpoints be presented. (The Fairness Doctrine should not be confused with the ‘Equal Time’ rule, which deals only with political candidates.)

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