Modern Examples of Censorship

While many people believe that there is no censorship in the United States media that is not true. The Federal Communications Commission has outlined some rules and guidelines that TV shows must follow or face censorship. Here’s a look at some of the things that could face censorship should a regular TV station wish to air it.

Graphic Content and Nudity. TV stations and TV shows are restricted from entering any type of graphic content and nudity. Depending upon the level of graphic content and nudity the show may be acceptable by just having a small blurred out section or even a parental disclaimer. TV stations and TV shows are also allowed to show certain images at a specified time in the evening. For example, shows would not be able to show any typing nudity at one in the afternoon but might be able to show the same show at 10 PM.

Public Safety. TV stations and TV shows are protected under the freedom of speech and press. However, should a story put the public safety at risk the local, state and national government have the option to pull the story or ask the media outlets to not air it. This type of censorship really happened and could be a long drawn out court battle as many TV stations will generally air the content if they want. Some services like direct tv sunday ticket be very careful and telecast only shows that are only legal.

Swearing. The censorship of swear words is probably the most commonly used form of censorship. TV shows are not allowed to air the full words of swear words during specified hours. This is to prevent children from picking up and learning these types of words.

What is the FCC?

Logo of the United States Federal Communicatio...
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The FCC is also known as the Federal Communications commission. This is a governmental agency that is in charge of regulating all communications within or that originates within the U.S. Their jurisdiction will extend to television, radio, cable, satellite, and telegraph communications- the whole kit and caboodle. Historically the FCC acted also as a regulatory agency for broadcast content. Before the 1980’s when the Regan Administration began to strip the agency of some of its powers, they required stations to present diverse programming including news and educational shows- a specified amount of hours each day

There present purpose is not as broad as before. The FCC is vested with the power to of licensing in regards to broadcast stations. When it is time for the broadcasting station to renew their licensing they must go before the FCC. Although they still have some control over content and to levy fines if violated, when it comes the broadcasting arena, the FCC concentrates mainly on the renewal and denial of licenses.

When it comes to its power over radio stations, the FCC tends to exercise a bit more control over the content of radio stations. Whenever radio content is implicated in a FCC case, it will mot often involve the first amendment because the FCC usually uses the first amendment as a basis for bringing the fine. There are three levels of radio licensing that a station can receive from the FCC, and each one requires that the operator undergo a licensing test. There are those who predict that digital or satellite radio will greatly undercut the current power that the FCC has in world of radio licensing. Until that time though stations are aware that the FCC has the power to levy fines and other legal remedies for improper content.