The “Fairness Doctrine” as Censorship—in Iran

by on July 16, 2009 · 3 comments

After cracking down on both international and domestic journalists, Iran is now looking to America for ways to squelch dissent. So, naturally, they’re copying America’s disastrous experience with censorship:  the so-called “Fairness Doctrine” imposed by the FCC (despite the First Amendment’s plain language) in 1949 until its repeal in 1987:

Iran’s State Inspectorate Organization, a sort of superregulatory agency that supervises a wide range of government administrations, said the guidelines will ensure that any criticism communicated through state media is “constructive,” “nonjudgmental” and doesn’t “stray from objectivity,” Iran’s state-controlled English-language news site Press TV quoted SIO chief Mostafa Pourmohammadi as saying.

He didn’t give details of the new rules, and it wasn’t clear which outlets are being specifically targeted — the government-controlled media or the heavily monitored independent press. It is also unclear how much clout the agency has in pursuing violations or referring them to authorities for enforcement.

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