less than 1 minute read

Houchins v. KQED

Talk Radio In The United States

Today, the right to a free and unfettered press includes other print media, as well as broadcasts over radio and television, in movies, and through electronic information. Broadcast media may have more governmental control than the print media, but it still enjoys tremendous latitude in the discretion and choice of programming.

Radio talk show commentators and listeners calling the shows have the opportunity to discuss their opinions on various subjects. Shows offer discussion of current political issues, sports, psychology, and other topics of interest to the public. The ability to verbalize an opinion or subject that is controversial goes to the heart of citizens' First Amendment rights to free press and speech.

Talk shows serving as a forum for political discussion allowing for varying points of view, without government censorship, are another means of sustaining a vigorous exchange of information. This was the original intent of the Constitution's prohibition against government interference with the press. The framers of the Constitution supported the expression of conflicting points of view, even if in opposition to governmental policies. They viewed this as a critical element in a democracy.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980Houchins v. KQED - Significance, Freedom To Gather News, The Press Serves The Public, Impact, Talk Radio In The United States