Watch for the "Fairness Doctrine" debate to be replaced by the term "localism." Though this is nothing new per-se Judicial Watch has the documents from the FCC showing it has not gone away and is still very much a consideration:
While President Obama is on record opposing the return of the Fairness Doctrine, which is viewed by many as an attempt to squelch the free speech of conservatives in the media, these documents show that the FCC is considering alternative proposals that may also regulate free speech in the media under the professed goal of "diversity."
For example, in December 2007, the FCC proposed new "localism" measures to force broadcast stations to offer programming more "responsive to the needs and interests of the communities that they are licensed to serve." These proposed measures, highlighted in a document entitled, "The Report on Broadcast Localism and Notice of Approved Rulemaking," included a requirement that broadcasters, "provide 3 hours per week of locally-produced program," and that licensees establish "permanent advisory boards (including representatives of underserved community segments)." The FCC noted that these measures would become part of the application renewal process to make sure broadcasters "meet their responsibilities."
Problems with "localism" are highlighted in a legal memo written by Kathleen Kirby of the law firm Wiley Rein and submitted to Rosemary Harold, serving as legal counsel to FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell. In the document, which was distributed internally at the FCC, Ms. Kirby advises that the Fairness Doctrine "would do well to stay dead." Ms. Kirby then turns her attention to "localism," advising that such a policy could represent a "stealth enactment" of the Fairness Doctrine. (more)