The Fairness Doctrine in Light of Hostile Media Perception

28 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2011

See all articles by Trevor Hall

Trevor Hall

Boise State University

James Cleith Phillips

Stanford University - Constitutional Law Center

Date Written: June 22, 2011

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Hall, Trevor and Phillips, James Cleith, The Fairness Doctrine in Light of Hostile Media Perception (June 22, 2011). CommLaw Conspectus - Journal of Communications Law and Policy, Vol. 19, No. 2, p. 395, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1869641

Trevor Hall

Boise State University ( email )

1910 University Drive
Boise, ID 83716
United States

James Cleith Phillips (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Constitutional Law Center ( email )

559 Nathan Abbot Way
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://law.stanford.edu/directory/james-phillips/

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