Regulation in Mass Media

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In the world of mass media there are many regulations that exist. These regulations are decided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). On June 19, 1934 the FCC, which is an independent government agency, was created under the Communications Act of 1934. At the beginning the FCC was responsible for regulating broadcast, telegraph, and telephone. Now the FCC expanded its regulations to new communication technologies such as the satellite, microwave, cellular telephones, PCS service and private radio communications. The responsibility of the FCC and their regulations are often questioned if they are necessary or not. By examining Horwitz’s “The Evolution of the American Telecommunication System and the Origin of Communication Regulation.,” one could take the side that the regulation of media is necessary.

Regulation of media is necessary to prevent a monopoly-- which is one company controlling the entire market. If there was a monopoly on media then the company could charge and price whatever they want and only give service to those they wanted to. By having media regulations this is not able to happen. Natural monopolies in wired carriers, which are monopolies approved by the FCC, keep costs down and prevent a cluttering of wiring in the air or ripping up streets to install underground wiring. The first sign of natural monopoly was with AT&T and the telephone. According to Horowitz, it states: “Under the leadership of Theodor Vail, AT&T maintain the telephony constitution a natural monopoly. ‘One policy, one system, and universal service’ was Vail’s ot-reapted slogan.” (Horowitz, Page 99) Vail argued that by having more then one provider there would be a waste of resources and if there was one provider pooling its resources they would be able to provide a better service to the customer. Though this might be true, unless there is regulation by the government this idea of natural monopoly would be horrible. Now the FCC regulates any kind of natural...
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