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Slaughter Introduces Fairness Legislation

By Caitlin Kim

Buffalo, NY – Democratic Congresswomen Louise Slaughter plans on introducing legislation that aims to bring a diversity of opinion and accountability to the airwaves.

Slaughter believes broadcast media companies are too focused on ratings and the bottom line. She hopes reinstating the Fairness Doctrine will change that.

The doctrine, which was repealed during the Reagan administration, attempted to ensure balanced and fair coverage of controversial issues. It encouraged companies to have point-counterpoint segments, give equal time to opposing views or get public feedback on their job before getting their license renewed.

"To bring that back obviously is going to make the media more accountable if they then have go to Washington to get the license," Slaughter said. "Remember they get this free. We're not just talking about business here. We're talking about a responsibility."

The bill faces an uphill battle and Slaughter will hold a total of four meetings to help gain support for the bill. Past attempts to reinstate the doctrine since its repeal in 1987 have failed due to concerns that it violates First Amendment free speech issues.