Why Bringing Back the Fairness Doctrine Won’t Cure What Ails Modern Media

The Beloved, If Misunderstood, FCC Rule’s Promise Was Far Greater Than Its Performance

The Fairness Doctrine—the federal communications policy, in place from 1949 to 1987, that required U.S. broadcasters to address controversial issues and provide airtime to conflicting sides—is newly popular. Advocates for the policy’s return view it as a potential solution to divisive and destructive problems of our contemporary media environment, particularly as a way to mitigate disinformation in partisan media outlets. But restoring the original rule, especially with its narrow application to broadcast stations, would do no such thing.

It’s useful to understand the new interest in the Fairness Doctrine as …

Why Color TV Was the Quintessential Cold War Machine

The Technological Innovation Transformed How Americans Saw the World, and How the World Viewed America

In 1959, at the height of the space race, Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev stood together, surrounded by reporters, in the middle of RCA’s color television …

Why Americans Are Afraid to Talk to Reporters

They Fear Backlash From Their Neighbors, and Are Wary the Media Will Exploit Them

It’s been a landmark year for ordinary citizens in the news. Without the hurricane survivors, student protestors, mass shooting victims, and sexual abuse survivors who agreed to speak to reporters, …

Television and Film Have a Role to Play in Repairing a Fractured America

Despite the Bitterness Splintering the Nation, History Shows We’re “All in the Family"

In American memory, if not always in reality, television and film once played a unifying role. During the Great Depression, decadent Hollywood productions delivered welcome diversion. At the dawn …

Facebook Could Fix Our Local News Problem

The Media Behemoth Is Perfectly Positioned to Lead Investment in Civic-Minded Journalism

Facebook may not be quite ready to stand up and say the words, “My name is Facebook and I’m a media company.” But it has begun to accept that its …

How to Build an Ecosystem for High-Quality Journalism

German Reporters Say the Future of Digital Media Will Be Structured Like a Coral Reef

People all over the world are searching, like explorers, for a model to support the high-quality digital journalism our societies and democracies need.

We think we’ve found a model at sea. …