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Freedom Of Speech

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Freedom of Speech

In 1899, Gugliemo Marconi proved that usage of radio waves was a possible way of exchanging information (about.com). Since then, many modifications have been made to radio transmitters and it became more common as a method of communication. Since 1926, when the Radio Corporation of America (about.com) was founded, radio has been broadly used as a means for exchange of information, ideas and personal point of view by individuals. Radio waves, which are rapid variations of electric current that are sent into space and is then received by any transmitter, making it a public source of information. The radio is now available to just about anyone in this country. Currently, it is used in many situations, such as inform, entertain, persuade, etc. Although the radio is one of the best ways of getting information to many different people at the same time, it is also regulated by a government agency. The FCC (federal communications commission) regulates what can and what cannot be said over the radio, TV, internet, and other ways of public broadcasting. By censoring the radio, the FCC would be causing great damage to the principles of radio stations. The radio should be free because opinions should be freely expressed, a piece of music should be heard for its entirety/art, and lastly, if any type of material is considered by you offensive, you are free to turn the radio off or change the station.

When an artist writes the words to a song, he/she is making a careful selection of words, which are meant to be heard in the way it is written. In the artist's mind, there is logic to what he is writing, and he wishes that his listeners would hear it that way. When the FCC censors a piece of music or information that is considered aggressive, unnecessarily vulgar, or inappropriate for a public channel, it is directly changing the meaning of the song by removing what could be an important part of it. The FCC also regulates what can be said on air, for instance. In January 2002, People For the American Way Foundation and attorneys from New York-based media law firm Frankfurt Garbus Kurnit Klein & Selz, P.C. filed a lawsuit on behalf of hip-hop poet and performance artist Sarah Jones against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) challenging a ruling that one of Jones' works is "indecent." In the wake of the ruling and a threatened fine against a non-commercial educational radio station in Portland, Oregon that aired the work, other stations are refusing to air the piece. The work entitled "Your Revolution" is a protest against the degrading treatment of women in popular culture (People for the American way).

According to the commission, "It is the mission of the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that the American people have available -- at reasonable costs and without discrimination -- rapid, efficient, nation- and world-wide communications services; whether by radio, television, wire, satellite, or cable."(From the FCC's, Web site). In the Us, there is an expected number of over 800 independent, non-commercial radio stations (gumbopages.com), plus an expected 318 commercial licenses (FCC), which are companies who may broadcast more than one station. With this many stations around, there is such a variety of channels a person could listen to, that makes you wonder: Is there a need for regulating the stations, or should we leave it to the individual to choose what they want to listen to? The FCC should leave it alone to each person to choose what he/she wants to hear, after all, if they don't like it, they can change the station.

Lastly, freedom of speech is guaranteed by the first amendment to the constitution of the United States of America. "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting

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