Indecent Content and the Right to Free Speech Term Paper by Harmel

Indecent Content and the Right to Free Speech
An analysis of the Federal Communication Commission's role as it relates to the First Amendment right to free speech.
# 144734 | 1,619 words | 3 sources | APA | 2010 | US

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This paper analyzes the role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), and whether or not their regulations violate individuals' right to free speech. The paper explains that The FCC is often presented as the big brother government trying to control and restrict people's access to free speech and expression; however, the commission was created as a means of monitoring and regulating communications to protect individuals' rights to not be subjected to indecent or offensive content. The paper centers on two court cases involving the FCC and the validity of rulings they made in regards to inappropriate content, the first case is the FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, which occurred in 1978. The second case, FCC v. Fox Television Stations, was decided in 2009 and called into question the 1978 court ruling. The paper concludes that despite the reoccurring challenges, the FCC's interpretation of the first amendment has been upheld by the Supreme Court -the final voice on constitutional issues.

From the Paper:

"In response to the FCC, the Pacifica Foundation argued that the monologue was played during a show discussing society's sensitivity to language (U.S. Supreme Court 1978). In addition, the Pacifica Foundation defended their action by stated they did issue a warning at the start of the broadcast that the show would contain language not appropriate for all audiences (U.S. Supreme Court 1978). The FCC countered this argument with one of their own. The FCC argued that radio stations by there very nature attracted audiences that will listen inconsistently (U.S. Supreme Court 1978). This meant that it could not be assumed that a listener would hear a radio broadcast from the very beginning, and would have heard the warning regarding the content of the show. The FCC's argument was supported by the subsequent Supreme Court ruling."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • "FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726." (1978). U.S. Supreme Court. Retrieved on July 19, 2010 from FindLaw:
  • FCC et al. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., et al." (2009). U.S. Supreme Court. Retrieved on July 19, 2010 from FindLaw:
  • "About the FCC." (2010). Federal Communications Commission. Retrieved on July 19, 2010 from Federal Communications Commission:

Cite this Term Paper:

APA Format

Indecent Content and the Right to Free Speech (2010, September 28) Retrieved July 13, 2020, from

MLA Format

"Indecent Content and the Right to Free Speech" 28 September 2010. Web. 13 July. 2020. <>