Federal Law Allows Graphic Campaign Ad - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

Federal Law Allows Graphic Campaign Ad

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Radio and television stations operate under federal license, subject to conditions imposed by Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. Stations must provide reasonable access to their airtime by candidates for federal office,1 and that stations have no power of censorship over any material broadcast by a candidate.2 The station broadcasting the material cannot require the candidate to edit or change the material for broadcast and cannot restrict the time of day when political advertising may  be aired.

Even though material broadcast by a candidate may be libelous, inflammatory, or offensive to some viewers, the United States Supreme Court has ruled that permitting a station to censor such material would undermine the law. 3


1 47 U.S.C. §312(a)(7).

2 47 U.S.C. §315(a).

3 Farmers Educ. & Coop. Union of Am. v. WDAY, Inc., 360 U.S. 525 (1959).

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