Net Neutrality, the Fairness Doctrine, and the NRB: The Tension between United States Religious Expression and Media Regulation

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Net Neutrality, the Fairness Doctrine, and the NRB: The Tension between United States Religious Expression and Media Regulation


  • Kathryn Montalbano Communication and Digital Media, Neumann University, USA


Abstract  This article analyzes the historical continuity between the opposition of the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) to the Fairness Doctrine (1949) and to the contemporary Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Open Internet principle, net neutrality. These debates demonstrate how media policy discourse has shaped democratic ideals, including by designating whose voices are or are not included in broadcast and digital communication spaces. The discourse emerging from both media policy debates reveals that fears concerning cultural hegemony and the diversity of expression in the United States have intertwined with fears concerning the invasion of foreign ideologies. The article then considers the possibility of reconciling religious and secular discourse in the mediated public sphere.


Keywords  evangelicals; Fairness Doctrine; Federal Communications Commission; media regulation; National Religious Broadcasters; net neutrality; public sphere; radio; religion; secularism


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Publication Date   9 February 2018


DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v6i1.1198


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