Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Date


Publication Citation

50 Federal Communications Law Journal 659 (1998)


Despite recent advances in medical technology, AIDS remains a very serious international health threat. Even with the presence of new drug therapies that have helped to prolong the lives of those who suffer from the disease, scientists have been unable to develop a cure. Consequently education remains the primary weapon available in the war against AIDS. Unfortunately, AIDS education initiatives have found little support in the broadcast community. To renew their licenses, broadcasters are required to act in the public interest— requirement that has traditionally required very little. However, given the threat AIDS presents to society, the FCC should require broadcasters to provide meaningful AIDS-education programming to satisfy their public interest obligation. This type of requirement, if similar in form and style to the Children's Television Act of 1990, would likely pass constitutional muster. Additionally, such a requirement would prove to be a powerful weapon in the battle to stop the spread of AIDS.