Probably no other industry has so captured the interest of the American public or shown such phenomenal yearly growth as the industry of television. Such a dynamic industry is almost certainly going to be the object of controversy. A necessary companion to such controversy is the problem of control—what can be done to change or stabilize the industry, and with whom does this power lie? Congress first answered this question with the passage of the Radio Act of 1927, which was subsequently replaced by the Communications Act of 1934. The power of the United States government to regulate the radio and television industry rests upon its constitutional power over interstate commerce. The delegation of this power to an administrative agency has been upheld. The question of who possesses the legal power to regulate the industry having long been settled, the task remains to determine the nature and extent of that power. The scope of this comment will, for the purposes set out below, be limited to the power of the FCC to regulate and supervise programs and program schedules presented by the individual station licensees. The purpose here is to comment upon the nature of the power Congress vested in the FCC pertaining to the programming area, to discuss the limitations upon that power, to discuss the criteria used by the FCC in the regulation of the radio and television industry, and to analyze the various possible approaches to delineating the extent of regulation the FCC should have in this area.
William B. Stukas,
The Federal Communications Commission and Program Regulation—Violation of the First Amendment?,
41 Neb. L. Rev. 826
Available at: http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/nlr/vol41/iss4/9