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Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Chris Paterson


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the regulatory agency in the United States charged with oversight of electronic communications (→  Television Broadcasting, Regulation of ; United States of America: Media System ). Since the 1980s, it has taken much of the blame for the lack of diversity and the concentration of ownership in US broadcasting, and the rise of →  media conglomerates . The FCC has more responsibilities and autonomy than regulators in other industrialized countries. Since its creation, the commission has been controversial. It was meant to uphold the decision of Congress following World War I that broadcasting should be mostly commercial and free of government control; but also to insure that access to the airwaves was allocated responsibly and that those granted access put the public's interest before their own (known as the “trusteeship model”). The agency was created on June 19, 1934, when Congress passed the Communications Act. It was formed from its predecessor the Federal Radio Commission, along with parts of the Interstate Commerce Commission and Postmaster General. It was organized into a broadcast, telegraph, and telephone division (it has been reorganized since), and the overall entity is directed by five commissioners (it was seven until 1983). They are appointed by each president, but only three can be from the president's party. With the chairman ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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