Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Date


Publication Citation

64 Federal Communications Law Journal 401 (2012)


The notion that broadcasters must broadcast in the public interest has always been a requirement; exactly how this requirement is met has taken many forms. This Note examines the history of the public interest requirement in broadcasting-from vagueness to regulation to good faith and presumptions of compliance-and considers the appropriate direction for the public interest requirement's future. The deregulation of the 1980s served a valuable purpose at the time by lifting burdens and sparking innovation. It is time to examine those innovative methods of ascertaining the needs of our communities and providing desired programming, in order to determine ways in which we can increase the accountability of individual stations and improve their communication with the public. We find ourselves at a place in history where it is necessary to implement certain sensible regulations in order to ensure the preservation of the public interest standard.