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Nicholas Johnson's
Major Magazine Articles


Note: This Web site is in development; the citations are complete through 1995; the links are being added as the texts are copied, scanned, formatted and uploaded. The links (with a couple of noted exceptions) go to Adobe pdf versions of the articles. Most computers have access to the Adobe Reader software necessary to access pdf files. If you do not, it may be downloaded for free, and quickly installed, from See below for copyight information.

You may want to also refer to Nicholas Johnson's "Law Review and Law-Related Articles" and the "Recent Publications" site (which contains the full text of all writing since 1996).

"CATV: Promise and Peril," Saturday Review, November 11, 1967, p. 87.

"Media Barons and the Public Interest," The Atlantic Monthly, June 1968, p. 43. (Also available here.)

"Easy Chair: What You Can Do to Improve TV," Harpers, February 1969, p. 14.

"We Need the Pastore Bill; No, We Don't," New Republic, December 6, 1969, p. 16.

"Public Channels and Private Censors," Nation, March 23, 1970, p. 329.

"What Do We Do About Television?"Saturday Review, July 11, 1970, p. 14.

"Dear Vice President Agnew," New York Times, October 11, 1970, sec. 2, p. 17, col. 1 (audio)

"Life Party," New Republic, April 10, 1971 (an html file).

"Test Pattern For Living," Saturday Review, May 29, 1971, p. 12.

"Is Television Messing with Your Mind?" Vogue, July 1971, p. 92.

"Time Out for TV: Rx for Children's Television,"PTA Magazine, December 1971, p. 21.

"Beyond the Fairness Doctrine," New Republic, January 15, 1972, p. 24.

"Nicholas Johnson on Censorship, Violence, Propaganda" (interview with P. Collier), Mademoiselle, March 1972, p. 174.

"On the Air: You," McCall's, March 1972, p. 48.

"Why Ma Bell Still Believes in Santa," Saturday Review, March 11, 1972, p. 57.

"Nicholas Johnson of the FCC," Popular Electronics, April 1972, p. 96 (interview).

"Open Letter: Planks for the Platform," New Republic, July 15, 1972, p. 21.

"His Master's Voice," New Republic, October 14, 1972, p. 23.

"Obtuse Politics and the FCC," The Nation, November 6, 1976, pp. 461-3.

"Giveaway or Breakthrough: A Debate on TV Licensing" (with Karl Meyer), The Nation, September 30, 1978, p. 298.

"Van Deerlin, Round 2: Johnson and Meyer Continue Their TV Dispute" (with Karl Meyer), The Nation, October 21, 1978, pp. 406-7.

"Whose Airwaves?" The Progressive, October 1979, pp. 8-9 (an html file).

"Save Free Speech in Cyberspace,"Wired, June 1995, pp. 131, 134.


"Dear Vice President Agnew" was drawn from Nicholas Johnson, "Turning on the Vice President," a presentation to the United States Information Agency Symposium, "Rock Music: Underground Radio and Television," USIA, Washington, D.C., September 17, 1970. Although Johnson refers to an advance text no copy is now known to exist. However, a 35-year-old tape cassette recording of that presentation has been found and made into a 45-minute mpg file which is now available online as njusia70.mp3. We wish to thank Gregory Johnson, of for his volunteer effort in making this possible.

(Notes: (1) The file is about 45 MB, and will take some time to download without a broadband connection. (2) The speech runs about 30 minutes and is followed by about 20 minutes of Q&A. (3) Anyone interested in the details, and the distinctions between what was said, and what subsequently appeared in the New York Times, may find it useful to have the Times version available while listening.)

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