Conflicting Communication Interests in America: The Case of by Tom McCourt

By Tom McCourt

Public broadcasting has replaced dramatically considering its founding in 1967. The growing to be equation of industry potency with the general public curiosity has, in Tom McCourt's research, undermined the price of public items and prone. moreover, political and cultural discourse is more and more beset by means of fragmentation. Public radio presents an exemplary website to check the clients and difficulties of latest public life.

Beginning with an outline of the occasions that resulted in the production of nationwide Public Radio, McCourt discusses the connection among NPR and its associate stations and the ways that struggles over investment and programming have affected public radio's schedule. He additionally examines how public radio accommodates the jobs of public representatives into its operations and the way its how to be certain the wishes and pursuits of the general public have replaced around the system's historical past. The social, political, and fiscal pressures that experience impacted the project and practices of nationwide Public Radio, McCourt asserts, are appear in all components of yank existence. via large historic examine, he examines even if American public broadcasters, as represented by means of NPR, have succeeded or didn't engender an enlightened, participatory democracy.

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The Ford Foundation awarded ERN $150,000 to merge with NET concomitant with EEN, and Quayle was named NET’s director of radio (he later became the first president of NPR). However, ERN ceased programming when Ford withdrew its funds to concentrate exclusively on television; the radio network’s last live broadcast covered Martin Luther King’s March on Washington in August 1963. 35 The same held true for federal funding. The first direct federal support for educational broadcasting (the 1958 National Defense Act) earmarked money for formal instructional uses, and the Educational Facilities Act of 1962 completely omitted any funding for radio.

Avery, ‘‘Introduction,’’ in Public Service Broadcasting in a Multichannel Environment: The History and Survival of an Ideal, R. Avery, ed. (New York: Longman, 1993), p. xiii. 17. See I. de Sola Pool, Technologies of Freedom (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1983); also W. , The Coming Information Age: An Overview of Technology, Economics and Politics, Third Edition (New York: Longman, 1989). 18. M. Fowler and D. Brenner, ‘‘A Marketplace Approach to Broadcast Regulation,’’ Texas Law Review 60, 1982, p.

Rather than suggesting significant reform, the Carnegie Commission’s report (published in 1967 as Public Television: A Program for Action) sub- 36 • Conflicting Communication Interests stantially accommodated the existing order. The Commission did not propose to replace ‘‘educational television’’; instead, ‘‘public’’ programming for general audiences would supplement formal instruction. Since the existing educational broadcasting system was based upon independent licensees, the report envisioned a decentralized public broadcasting system that would allow for local and regional diversity and prevent political manipulation on the federal level.

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