Radio And Television Law
Did you know that radio and TV law not only prevents broadcasters from violating spectrum rights, but that it also protects you as a consumer? The FCC is actually in charge of regulating the industry and has just as much of a mandate to protect the consumer as it does the industry. Although many people might be quick to point out that the FCC doesn't do a great job of listening to the opinions of the people, overall it has done a great job of protecting citizens from unauthorized or unethical broadcasts. So what type of broadcast does the FCC protect you from? Well let's take a look at some of the most common issues that the FCC faces on a daily basis.
When it comes to public radio ant TV, the FCC is tasked with keeping the airwaves clean and free of vulgar language or discussion. Since anyone with the right equipment can watch free TV or listen to free radio, the FCC must make sure that all free broadcasts meet a certain guideline for decency. There is a whole list of words that have to be either censored or withheld from broadcasts so that those not wanting to hear them have the option to do so. They also prevent companies from broadcasted heavily biased or illegitimate material. This means that a broadcasting company cannot promote rumor as news or fiction as fact. Although this has been difficult over the years, for the most part the FCC has done a superb job of regulating these aspects.
The FCC also protects you and your families from being subject to pirated or illegal broadcasts. Many times, these illegal broadcasts promote an illegal topic and it is important to be kept safe from these types of messages. If citizens are listening to a hijacked broadcast that spouts political propaganda as fact, then unless they are aware of the fact that the station was hijacked then their information sources have been corrupted. Imagine the power if a pirated radio station started subtlety promoting a political objective that was detrimental to the United States. This would obviously not be a good situation.
The last thing that the FCC does for you is give you access to the material and content you want by creating tiers of service. The FCC actively forces broadcasting companies to tier their services so that you don't pay for channels you do not want to be subjected to. They also try to keep the power split between several companies so that a monopoly does not occur, which would result in a company being able to charge any amount they want for any service level without being forced to change by a competitor. Competition is important for promoting a fair priced scheme that benefits both businesses and consumers.
You may not think of the FCC as anything more than a government organization, but it actually isn't even part of the government. Although the FCC is tasked by Congress to fulfill its duties of spectrum regulation and management, it is not actually owned by the government. However, regardless of who owns the FCC it is important to know how it works and how it can keep you safe from unwanted or illegal messages. I hope you've enjoyed this guide and encourage you to continue your research if you are looking for more information about the FCC and how it regulates the media spectrums.