FCC Won’t Let Me Be or Let Me Be Me: The FCC and Obscenity
Reynolds School of Journalism
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This thesis attempts to answer the following question: how can the Federal Communication Commission (or FCC) create a better system to determine what language is legally obscene? This is a significant issue for American broadcasters and consumers of their media, because it effects what can and cannot be broadcast over the airwaves. It is also significant for American citizens, as the regulation of speech is linked to issues of freedom of speech, and how American citizens are allowed to use their first amendment rights. The goal of this paper is to incite a positive change in the way that the United States government legally determines what is and is not offensive. It is my intent to show that the current system for determining obscenity has become outdated, arbitrary and sporadic, after which I hope to propose a more rational system for determining broadcast obscenity.