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equal time rule

the requirement that broadcasters provide candidates for the same political office an equal opportunity to communicate their message to the public

right of rebuttal

An FCC regulation giving individuals the right to have the opportunity to respond to personal attacks made on radio or TV broadcast

fairness doctrine

An FCC requirement that broadcasters who air programs on controversial issues provide time for opposing views

prior restraint

An effort made by a government agency to block the publication of material it deems libelous or harmful in some way; censorship. In the United States, the courts forbid prior restraint except under the most extraordinary circumstances

selection bias (in the media)

The predisposition of consumers to choose particular types of stories

agenda setting

the process by which it is determined which issues are taken up by political actors and institutions


a process of preparing the public to take a particular view of an event or a political actor


the power of the media to influence how events and issues are interpreted

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