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Essay on Censorship in Television and Radio

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Censorship in Television and Radio


For our group project we, group 6, decided to focus our attention on censorship in television and on the radio. We showed most of the attention to the Janet Jackson incident in Super Bowl 38 when looking at television, and for radio, focused on the FCC and disc jockeys like Howard Stern. Here are the television articles as done by three of our group members.

If there is a single most important event that happened in television that caused major ramifications, it would be the Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the halftime show at Super Bowl 38. In this incident Janet Jackson exposed her right breast. Worst of all the Super Bowl was broadcast on CBS, a non-cable free channel, where censorship is pushed to the extreme. An estimated 140 million people were watching the halftime show when the incident occurred (Davidson 2004). In response the FCC fined CBS $550,000, which is the largest fine ever handed out by the FCC to a T.V. broadcasting station (Davidson 2004). The 227 CBS independent affiliates were left un-fined (Davidson 2004). This one event probably had the most severe consequences ever, and caused an onslaught of censorship to follow, and spread into every aspect of American’s lives.

A major legislation to come down, relating to censorship and television, was the increase of broadcast indecency fines. The increase, passed by the US Senate in a 99 to 1 vote, made it possible to fine as much as $275,000 an incident and a maximum of $3 million a day (parentstv.org). Also the Senate approved amendments that would make the FCC consider the station’s size, when fining, for violent television programming (parentstv.org). The House passed a similar legislation, and ...


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...of people feel offended doesn’t mean the Constitution can be changed. So for all of those who are listening to the radio and are “offended” by something “obscene” CHANGE THE CHANNEL!!

Isidore, Chris. (2004, January 23). The rising price of saying #&%(*@*. CNN Money. Retrieved October 30, 2004, from http://money.cnn.com/2004/01/23/news/companies/obscenity/index.htm.

Peterson, Molly M. & Hess, David (2004, June 22). Indecency, Media Ownership Hitch A Ride On Defense Bill. Congress Daily. National Journal Group, Inc. p. 4, 2p. Retrieved October 30, 2004, from http://search.epnet.com/login.aspx?direct=true&AuthType=cookie,ip,url,uid&db=aph&an=13959674

The Wired Press. (2004, February 3). FCC Chairman to Nail Janet Jackson after Super Bowl Incident. author. Retrieved October 30, 2004, from http://thewiredpress.com/archives/culture/20042003_superboel_fcc.html.


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