Media policy and regulations have a significant influence on communications and media. The government adopts certain laws to control what the media houses air to the public. In the United States, media policy was designed to regulate the broadcasting sector through the Radio Act of 1997 (Eadie, 2009). The act was signed into law by Calvin Coolidge, who was the president in 1927 (Eadie, 2009). Radio Act hoped to eliminate deficiencies in the radio sector and offer stability in the radio sector. The policy set in the media sector aims to ensure all the media practitioners act in a professional manner and to protect the privacy of other people. Ethical standards creation through the Act passed by the Congress helps to promote media freedom. The paper will explain how the media regulations and policy are set up and their impact in the media sector.
The Concept of Radio Act and its Impacts on Media Policy
Media policy and regulations, the Radio Act of 1927 in particular, influence communications and media. However, the Radio Act failed to offer Department of Commerce a full mandate to regulate the radio industry (Eadie, 2009). Since the radio industry experienced tremendous growth in the early 1920s, the need for the Radio Act emerged to regulate the grwing sector (Eadie, 2009). The act also provided a standard for allocating radio frequencies and issuing licenses. The first amendment ensured privacy was maintained and controlled the radio advertisement that contained indecent or profane language.
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Media regulations under the Radio Act help to preserve the independence of media and their protection from unfair government interference. Journalist codes of conduct are also highlighted in the rules concerning their professionalism at work. The media regulations help to avoid issues with morality and child safety in the use of media across the nation. Some content is not meant for the children’s audience, and, therefore, the regulation hopes to ensure radio and other media houses maintain a high level of professionalism. They need to determine what is right or wrong for the target audience (Liang, & Mackey, 2011).
The regulations help to ensure that media embrace the culture of corporate social responsibility as well as the establishment of media watch and accountability to the citizens. Media performance is closely observed by various regulatory agencies to ensure media covers all the issues with the highest degree of care and caution. Some matters that are of much importance to the government such as security strateggies should not be disclosed to the public, and the government hopes to maintain their privacy. Therefore, regulations help to maintain confidentiality and privacy in all sectors of government operations. Media regulations and policy through the Radio Act contribute to ensuring journalist and other media stakeholders do not misuse the media (Picazo-Vela, Gutierrez-Martinez, & Luna-Reyes, 2012).
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The primary aim of media policy and regulations is to ensure media freedom and media control. The government ensures control of all media stakeholders involved in broadcasting and production of any information by any media, including radio. Strict penalties for the media houses that do not follow the established laws and regulations needs to be introduced by the state. Through media policy and regulations, media freedom will be limited if it is for the wrong reason such as incitement or spread of tribalism. Ethical standards must apply to ensure that no audience is mistreated or insulted. If all media houses follow the set regulations, they will receive minimum government interference in their operations. Therefore, all the laws passed by the Congress, including the Radio Act, perform the role of media watchdog to regulate what the target audience receives.