Research Outline

Newspaper, Radio and Television Regulations


To support a larger discussion of social media companies by compiling a list of regulations imposed on newspaper, radio and television content in the US over the past 50 years (since 1970), including what laws were enacted, a brief description of their relevance to these industries and the timeline during which they were active.

Early Findings

Early Findings

  • In an effort to establish a comprehensive listing of laws or other regulations limiting content across the US newspaper, radio and television industries, the research team identified several, pre-compiled lists of historic media censorship in the US:
    • ThoughtCo.'s "Censorship in the United States" - Perhaps one of the most comprehensive discussions of censorship across all US industries, this chronological discussion piece highlights the various ways that industries such as newspapers, radio broadcasting and television have been limited by US legislation, Supreme Court decisions and other influential parties (e.g., US presidents).
    • Clark University's "Censorship In Radio " - Specifically focused on the US radio industry, this compilation of laws and other forces limiting content across American radio channels suggests that the most significant regulations impacting what the radio industry could broadcast were in effect between the 1930's and 1960's.
    • CQ Researcher's "Censorship of Press and Radio" - While casting a much wider lens to review censorship worldwide, this article similarly indicates that the 1930's was a key period for censorship in the US radio industry.
    • Variety's "FCC Censorship Rules Vary for Broadcast, Cable, and Streaming " - Although this article presents itself as a discussion piece, it appears to be one of the more comprehensive and methodical listings of television censorship regulations in the US.
    • NCAC's "A Brief History of Film Censorship in the USA" - This visual timeline of film censorship in the US is outside the industries of newspaper, radio and television, but depicts a common theme across all US media censorship, given that many industries are prevented from publishing content just as often by industry association rules and social practices.
  • Notably, the initial hour of research suggests that there are few, publicly available resources that thoroughly and credibly discuss content regulation for the newspaper, radio and television industries in the US.
  • A review of available information indicates that the bulk of censorship in these industries occurred prior to the 1970's (i.e., prior to the past 50 years).
  • Additionally, it appears that some regulations may have simultaneous impacts on multiple industries.
  • As such, we recommend compiling a unified list of regulations imposed on newspaper, radio and television content in the US over the past 100 years (since 1920).