Com Arts 351 ? 04/09/09 Public Interest and the Private Sphere Paradox American system of broadcasting Privatized, commercial system, required to make money Trustee of public airwaves, required to serve public interest How do these competing needs get met? Why a commercial system? The government believed it best serves public interest because? Avoided issues of government propaganda Market-driven approach would appeal to viewer interests ? because profits were directly tied to giving the audience what it wants Why PICAN? Radio Act of 1927 ? Public Interest, Convenience, and Necesssity Airwaves are? Public: airwaves are a public resource, not a corporation (up until 5 years ago and now owned by corporations) Scarce: not everyone has access Intrusive: ?invade? private homes PICAN What does this mean? Public interest ( public wants or public needs? What the public needs! Who is the public? Audience to be entertained? Citizenry to be educated? Consumers to be given choices? Can we even talk about it as a singular entity with singular interests? Defining ?Public Interest? Commercial broadcasters Public interest = what interests the public Necessarily serves public interest Need to generate audience to generate revenue Newton Minow ? ?Vast Wasteland? (1961) What public needs, not wants ? could be educational but now it?s not Calls for balance Concern for children and education Laurence Winer (1998) Counter arguments: Public resource Spectrum not a resource; other media use resources Scarcity: Not unique to broadcasting New spaces have opened up Instead? Public interest ? 1st Amendment freedoms Broadcasters should NOT be subjected to government control Regulating for the Public Interest Equal Time rule = equal opportunities rule Fairness Doctrine ? had to schedule time to show program on controversial issues (i.e. religion) ? you need BOTH sides of the story Repealed in 1987 Why does it matter? First amendment isn?t just about the right to speak freely, but it?s all about the necessity of circulating ideas Public interest isn?t just about content but also access Satellite and cable create more choices, but the number of voices is the same!
Want to see the other 2 page(s) in 04/09/09?JOIN TODAY FOR FREE!