HOME > NEWSROOM > PRESS CENTER > Free Speech and Decency Can Coexist
For Immediate Release
January 10, 2012

Contact:
Laura Wright
703-331-4512
Craig Parshall
703-330-7000


 

 

FREE SPEECH AND DECENCY CAN COEXIST

 

Manassas, VA The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today in FCC v. FOX, a significant case related to the FCC’s long-held indecency guidelines as established by Pacifica. NRB filed an Amicus Curiae (“friend of the court”) brief with the High Court in the case and is pleased with the arguments today.

“Since its founding 68 years ago, NRB has been a staunch defender of the First Amendment, understanding that the defense of robust free speech in the marketplace of ideas is an important hallmark of our Republic,” said NRB President & CEO Dr. Frank Wright. “At the same time, we recognize that great responsibilities come with such a valuable freedom, including the need for the Federal Communications Commission to enforce, and broadcasters to obey, some very basic values of decency, particularly when children are most likely to be in the listening or viewing audience. We don’t believe that the values of both free speech and fundamental decency are inconsistent.”

Craig Parshall, NRB Sr. Vice President & General Counsel, was encouraged by the Justices’ questions today. “It was clear that several of the Justices see the practical need for FCC guidelines restricting indecent programming,” said Parshall, “and that the arguments of the broadcast networks that seek to strike down existing guidelines missed the point: restrictions on profanity and explicit sexuality can be fully compatible with a sensible view of the First Amendment. Indecency rules fit squarely with a small number of narrow, well-defined exceptions to free speech recognized by the Supreme Court, particularly when children may be impacted.”

About NRB
The National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) is a non-partisan, international association of Christian communicators whose member organizations represent millions of listeners, viewers, and readers. Our mission is to advance biblical truth; to promote media excellence; and to defend free speech. In addition to promoting standards of excellence, integrity, and accountability, NRB provides networking, educational, ministry, and fellowship opportunities for its members. Learn more at www.nrb.org.

About The NRB Convention
The annual Convention & Exposition is the largest nationally and internationally recognized event dedicated solely to assist those in the field of Christian communications. The dynamic Exposition consists of nearly 300 companies and is an active marketplace for those seeking tools and services to expand their ministries. NRB 2012 is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in Nashville, TN, February 18-21, 2012. For registration and other Convention information go to: www.nrbconvention.org

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National Religious Broadcasters
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