Using Examples, Explain The Difference Between Obscene And Indecent Materials.

890 words - 4 pages

Obscene material, "is not protected by the First Amendment," (361) to the Constitution and cannot be broadcast at any time. On the other hand, indecent material is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be banned entirely. It may, however, be restricted in order to avoid its broadcast during times of the day when there is a reasonable risk that children may be in the audience.According to the U.S. Supreme Court, to be obscene, material must meet a three-prong test, "(1) an average person, applying contemporary community standards, must find that the material, as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest (i.e., material having a tendency to excite lustful thoughts); (2) the material must depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by applicable law; and (3) the material, taken as a whole, must lack serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value,"(362). Conversely, material is indecent if it portrays or explains sexual content or activities in terms, "patently offensive as measured by contemporary community standards," (http://www.perrysklaw.com/plaw/loundy_dir/docs/lndytxtg.html), for the broadcast medium.I worked in radio for three years and I think I have a pretty good grasp on what the difference of obscene and indecent material is. I worked on an afternoon show for the most part and I know that it is a violation of federal law to air obscene programming at any time. When I show got moved to nights, after the station format flipped, our show found a loop hole. In that, when we were in afternoons we knew that it was in violation of federal law to air indecent programming during certain hours (which were the hours we were in, 2pm-6pm), but after we moved to the 7pm to11pm slot, we knew that after 10 pm we were allowed to include some indecent programming that would appeal to our adult audience demographic.An example of indecent materials on the airwaves could be something like, "Well, it was a nice big fart. I'm feeling very gaseous at this point." And obscene material might be something along the lines as calling a girl a," Cunt," in a broadcast medium. Many women, including myself, would be very offended by that word but by talking about farting, not so many people would be as offended. From being in radio, I can remember an obvious instance in which we talked about a performance by Janet Jackson at the super bowl. Her breast popping out of her outfit could be deemed as "Patently" offensive, indecent material presented over the airwaves because many people were watching and it was on cable television. So I can clearly state that the main difference between the two, is that obscene material may never be used because it can be too offensive but indecent material can be used for content purposes...

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