Media Regulation Re-Write
In spite of the 9/11 attacks, I believe that the government should have the ability to restrict the media, if and only if, it could affect national security. Media regulation today is one of the most difficult tasks to accomplish, especially given our nation’s advancement in technology. Anyone with access to a computer can upload whatever information they please to the internet which makes it very difficult to regulate.
Events such as the airtstrike video that Bradley Manning leaked should be censored from the general public. Imagine if you were a family member of either the pilots or the journalists; is that something you would want the world to see? Releasing videos such as that one may cause citizens to lose faith in the government and our national defense. The government isn’t perfect and does make mistakes at times. The Telecommunications Act of 1996 continues to uphold the requirement of the media serving in the “public interest, convenience, and necessity,” and this is not clearly defined. The release of such a video (or one similar), in my opinion, does not meet the public convenience or necessity.
With an increase in regulation on the media for the benefit of our national security, people may feel that their First Amendment rights are being violated. No one is ever 100% satisfied, and sacrifices must be made for the interest of our national security. The FCC’s job is to regulate the media, whether it’s for television ratings, censoring profanities, or cutting out a program that may be found as offensive. For all of the radicals who feel that the media shouldn’t be regulated period, why does the FCC regulate offensive language? They allow you to bash the government as you please. The FCC should only step in and regulate the media when it’s a potential threat to national security.
The shield laws mean well. But if what the journalist publishes from a “confidential source” is related to a potential threat to our nation, then the shield laws should be voided and the journalist prosecuted unless the source is revealed. Any media that could be potentially threatening to our national security should not be published or viewed by the general public. First Amendment rights only go to the point where national security is involved.