Obscene and indecent materials have several differences even though they are similar in some ways. Obscene materials are repulsive and lack any serious literary value while indecent materials are offensive and portray sexual activities in was that though offensive might have artistic or literary value. The Equal Opportunities Rule stipulates that all broadcasters should give equal opportunity to all political candidates with regard to the giving away of air time. In contrast, the Fairness Doctrine required all broadcasters to air controversial issues of public importance in an equitable, balanced, and honest way.
We will write a custom Essay on Obscene and Indecent Materials specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Using examples, explain the difference between obscene and indecent materials
The US Supreme Court provided a criterion for determining any material is obscene or indecent. In order for material to be obscene, it must excite the lustful thoughts of an average person, it must depict or describe sexual conduct in an offensive manner, and it must have no literary, artistic, or scientific value (Rackaway, 2014). For instance, pornography is obscene material. On the contrary, for material to be indecent, it must describe or present sexual content in a manner that that violates the community standards that govern the presentation of such content (Rackaway, 2014). For example, airing a video or a picture of a naked person is indecent material.
Protection by the Constitution
The constitution of the United States regulates the content that can be aired by broadcasters. In that regard, obscene materials cannot be broadcast by license holders because they are not protected by the First Amendment (Rackaway, 2014). On the contrary, indecent materials can be broadcast by license holders because they are protected by the First Amendment. In that regard, the government cannot ban them entirely but can restrict their airing to certain times of the day (Rackaway, 2014). For example, television programming that includes erotic sex scenes is usually broadcast later in the night when children are less likely to be among the audience.
Explain the difference between the Equal Opportunities Rule and the Fairness Doctrine
These laws were established to encourage fairness and balance in the presentation of controversial issues and promote broadcasting equality between political candidates. Both are different in their scope and areas of focus.
The Equal Opportunities Rule states that all licensed broadcasters should give equal opportunities to all political candidates who have opposing views. In that regard, the airtime given to all candidates should be equal regardless of their ideologies (Creech, 2013). In contrast, the Fairness Doctrine required all broadcasters to air controversial issues that were beneficial to the public in a balanced and equitable manner (Creech, 2013). Both concepts focus on different aspects. The Equal Opportunities Rule focuses on political candidates while the Fairness Doctrine focuses on controversial issues and their opposing views.
Treatment of Opposing Views
The Equal Opportunities Rule is primarily focused on the equitable provision of airtime to candidates with opposing views. On the contrary, the Fairness Doctrine is primarily focused on the airing of controversial matters as well as their contrasting views. Unlike the Equal Opportunities Rule, the Fairness Doctrine does not require broadcasters to give equal airtime to opposing views.
Obscene and indecent materials are different. Obscene materials are repulsive and lack any value while indecent materials are offensive and violate societal standards of morality. The major difference between the fairness doctrine and the equal opportunities rule is that the former dealt with discussion of controversial matters while the latter deals with the equitable allocation of airtime to political candidates.
Creech, K. C. (2013). Electronic media law and regulation. New York, NY: Routledge.
Rackaway, C. (2014). Communicating politics online. New York, NY: Springer.