Media Regulation: 960 A.D. - 2013

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960 A.D.

960 A.D.

Sung emperors began to censor and suppress non-governmental newssheets before the demise of their dynasty in 1279

1467

1467

Bestowing and denying printers privileges became a major form of government control of the press in England

1502

1502

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain required all printed works to be licensed, which means approved in advance by government or church authorities

1502

1502

Another form of press restriction in Spain was burning offensive books by the Inquisition

1521

1521

Edict of Worms in Germany includes requirement that printers submit to prior censorship

1538

1538

All printed works in England must be licensed after this date

1561

1561

In France, flogging becomes the first-time penalty for those who circulate defamatory or seditious broadsides or pamphlets. Repeat offenders are subject to the death penalty; press remains tightly controlled in France until French Revolution in 1789

1644

1644

John Milton publishes Areopagitica, a pamphlet defending press freedom during the English Civil War

1655

1655

Oliver Cromwell restores press controls in England

1679

1679

Licensing Act restricts press lapses in England

1690

1690

Governor and council of colony of Massachusetts close America’s first newspaper down after its first issue

1695

1695

Licensing Act ends permanently after the “Glorious Revolution;” becomes more difficult for authorities to control content of newspapers

1712

1712

Stamp tax imposed on newspapers in England

1735

1735

Jury finds John Peter Zenger, the publisher of the New-York Weekly Journal, innocent of seditious libel (triumph for press freedom)

1765

1765

American press rises in protest against Stamp Act

1767

1767

British Parliament institutes series of taxes (Townshend Acts) on goods imported into America, including paper

1768

1768

More than 100 people imprisoned for circulating illegal pamphlets in France

1788

1788

Because of strict press controls, Paris has only four newspapers

1798

1798

President John Adams signs Sedition Act, which makes it a crime to write, print, utter or publish attacks against U.S. government

1830

1830

States passing laws limiting the power of judges to hold reporters to contempt of court

1830

1830

Circulations of legal newspapers in England continue to be held down by the stamp tax on each copy

1917

1917

President Woodrow Wilson leads United States into World War I and hires press agent to support effort; George Creel also serves on censorship board

1917

1917

Under the Espionage Act, U.S. government revokes the mailing privileges of many non-mainstream (socialist) newspapers

1922

1922

Number of U.S. radio stations skyrockets to 576; “toll” is charged for use of airtime on stations

1927

1927

Radio Act establishes a Federal Radio Commission to assign radio frequencies and grant licenses; replaced by Federal Communications Commission in 1934

1931

1931

U.S. Supreme Court rules in Near v. Minnesota that prior restraint of the press is allowed under only the most unusual of circumstances

1941

1941

TV broadcasting begins in U.S.

1971

1971

“Pentagon Papers” released; Supreme Court finally rules that government’s argument for prior restraint of the press is not sufficiently strong in this case

1976

1976

Nebraska Press Association v. Stuart - A state judge in Nebraska attempted to restrict the type of news stories that reporters wrote on a highly publicized murder trial, but the supreme court ruled that he (the judge) was violating the first and fourteenth amendments

1977

1977

Houchins v. KQED Inc. – a court case that said the media did not have the right to access the government under the first amendment (this case was specifically about prisons)

1980

1980

Chandler v. Florida – a court case that ruled coverage of a trial does not does not go against the “right to a fair trial”

1981

1981

Chandler v. Florida - this is the case that allowed cameras in court rooms

1983

1983

Reporters blocked from covering initial stages of U.S. invasion of Caribbean island of Grenada; group of journalists that managed to land on the island were prevented by U.S. military officials from reporting what was happening for two days

1983

1983

The Equal Time Rule, starting in 1983, mandates that broadcast news outlets offer equal time to opposing candidates for political office, if they request that time

1984

1984

FCC v. League of Women Voters of California – a court case that said TV stations could “editorialize”

1985

1985

FCC standards changed to allow stations to air as much “non-entertainment” content as they would like; advertising limits are removed

1986

1986

Congress Deregulates the Cable TV Industry

1987

1987

FCC no longer enforces its "Fairness Doctrine" (Which required broadcasters to provide equal time for opposing viewpoints)

1987

1987

Meredith Corporation v. FCC – a court case that ruled the FCC did not have to implement the “Fairness Doctrine” because Congress did not force it to do so

1990

1990

Congress passed the Children's Television Act (slightly reduces the amount of advertising per hour of children's programs)

1991

1991

Cohen v. Cowles Media Co. - a court case that ruled Minnesota’s “promissory estoppel” law did not apply to newspapers; newspapers and the media could break promises

1992

1992

Congress passed a Bill to re-regulate the Cable TV Industry

1994

1994

FCC opened public comment on proposals to increase the national TV limits of any one network (25% to 50%)

1994

1994

Turner Broadcasting v. FCC - a court case that ruled "must-carry provisions" did not breach the First Amendment

2000

2000

United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group - a court case that ruled that the restriction on channels "primarily dedicated to sexually-oriented programming" went against the First Amendment

2001

2001

Robert v. National Archives - a court case that ruled if an individual wants to access information under the Freedom of Information Act, an account of privacy regarding the information must be taken into consideration

2002

2002

Ashcroft V. American Civil Liberties Union - a court case that ruled The Child Online Protection Act was enacted to prevent children from accessing pornography online

2006

2006

The "Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act” signed to regulate language and use of profanity in the media

2009

2009

FCC vs. FOX TV - a court case that upheld regulations of FCC that ban “fleeting expletives” on TV

2010

2010

President Obama orders government employees not to go on the WikiLeaks website on government owned computers

2011

2011

FCC vs. FOX TV – a court case that ruled fines issued to broadcasters as “unconstitutionally vague”

2011

2011

Facebook Inc. v. MaxBounty Inc. - a court case, in a federal court in California, that ruled that Facebook posts "are 'electronic mail messages' under the CAN-SPAM Act"

2012

2012

A federal court in Minnesota said that, because of the first and fourteenth amendments, school administrators could not force pupils to disclose their social media account information