FCC warns of punishment to offensive content

By Ryan Cox
April 22, 2004

In recent weeks, the Federal Communications Commission has made it clear that it will not let organizations abuse the rules regarding offensive content on television, radio and satelite cable and in the case of the recent Howard Stern incident, which involved his show being banned from Clear Channel Stations, radio broadcasting. As for some students on Cabrini’s campus, Stern’s punishment is not the answer. “I think that it says a lot about our society how people can turn the radio on, listen to a rap song that contains incredibly offensive material in the field of sex, drugs, and murder, and the FCC instead decides to seek the ban of an entertainer that everyone knows what to expect when they hear his material,” David Jones, a sophomore psychology major, said.
The FCC is a federal commission that monitors the content of radio stations and many other media based informational institutions. The FCC website states that it has the main purpose of creating rules to avoid offensive content from reaching the general public. Tim Sabean, an operations manager for the popular radio station 94.1 WYSP-FM described the process in which the FCC enforces its rules. “We [WYSP] do not believe in, take part in, or condone any type of broadcast indecency; the FCC enforces heavy fines and possibly license revokto those institutions that break the decency rules,” he said.
With the rules regarding offensive content in the area of television and radio, some feel it is an infringement of freedom of speech on the most basic level. “I understand that there has to be a set of rules to a certain degree, but with the amount of trash on the air today, much of it, including Howard Stern, should be able to say what they want it freedom of speech is to be taken seriously by Americans,” Ben Markwell, a sophomore psychology major, said. “It isn’t ‘freedom of speech to a certain level,’ it should be all or nothing,” he added.
Overall, the FCC has made it a point to show that it will not tolerate any offensive subject matter, and will not stop until all institutions follow the rules set forth by the federal government.

For more information on the policies and procedures of the FCC, visit thier site: http://www.fcc.gov

Posted to the web by Mark Garlit

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Ryan Cox

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