SPJ: Don't Reinstate Fairness Doctrine

Society of Professional Journalists joins debate over defunct broadcasting policy
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Fairness Doctrine: Complete Coverage from Broadcasting & Cable  

The Society of Professional Journalist has joined the ongoing debate over the so-called Fairness Doctrine, saying that it opposes efforts to reinstate the defunct broadcasting policy.

"SPJ in general opposes government intervention on speech. The Fairness Doctrine does that and discussion about having it again should end," said SPJ President Dave Aikens in astatement released Tuesday. "The SPJ Code of Ethics requires fairness in news coverage, but we don't want the government to mandate that."

The Fairness Doctrine, which required that broadcast licensees air competing perspectives on controversial issues of public importance, was repealed by the FCC in 1987, a move that is generally credited with sparking the explosion in conservative talk radio programs. While some Democratic legislators have advocated its reinstatement, President Obama has stated his opposition to resurrecting the policy.

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