The Fairness Doctrine in Light of Hostile Media Perception
28 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 22, 2011
Any discussion on the possible resurrection of the Fairness Doctrine should address the phenomena of hostile media perception (“HMP”). Hostile media perception refers to the observed phenomenon in which individuals perceive the media to be biased towards their viewpoint. This bias is prevalent with both conservative and liberal audiences. Much of the literature regarding HMP focuses on the question of press bias. This paper argues that this same phenomenon would also have implications if the Fairness Doctrine were ever reinstated. More specifically, due to HMP, viewers would merely discount any additional views resulting from enforcement of a “fairness doctrine” as media bias, neutralizing the intended effects of the Fairness Doctrine. Such a policy change would result in the additional cost of enforcement with little-to-no perceivable benefit to the public interest.
Keywords: Fairness Doctrine
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