Broadcast television and radio have historically been subject to greater censorship controls than other forms of expression. Federal law prohibits the broadcast of obscene, indecent or profane language. Obscenity is an unprotected category of speech in any medium, but indecent and profane language is protected by the First Amendment outside of the broadcast context. There are several rationales for this differential treatment. The most-cited rationale to justify restrictions on indecency and attempts to restrict violence is the interest in protecting children from potentially harmful material.
Additionally, the recent trend towards greater government secrecy has influenced a more subtle type of censorship in news reporting and access to current events. Below is a list of incidents of censorship targeting television and radio, as well as articles and other resource information exploring the specific current issues such as violence in the media, indecency, and censorship of wartime reportage.