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Reforming public broadcasting's problematic publicness: An analysis of the effectiveness and prospects of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting

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Date Issued:
2003
Summary:
In 1967, American public broadcasting was established with a mandate to offer educational and artistic programs, a forum for debate and controversy, and a voice for the otherwise voiceless. Public radio and television's mission was, in some respects, comparable to the role of the ideal public sphere, a realm removed from state and market interference and in which citizens discuss matters of common concern, without regard to race, gender, class, or individual self-interest. Yet much of the medium's promise has remained unfulfilled, its existence irrelevant to most Americans. This study first explores the meaning of publicness, inquires into the causes of its problematic manifestation in public broadcasting, and envisions a more public form of the system. Publicness requires inclusive access and full participation by citizens, accountability, and insulation from political and commercial pressures. But public broadcasting's publicness, already narrowed by the upper-middle-class, secular, heterosexist, white, male biases of its founders, is further hindered by systemic insularity and infighting, inadequate funding, elected officials' micro-management, and commercial broadcasters' fear of competition. Most observers agree that reform of the system for the 21st century requires restructuring and creation of a new funding mechanism, in addition to an expanded definition of culture, more participation by citizens, and greater utilization of digital media technologies. However, any such reform is likely to encounter several political, economic, social, and cultural obstacles from lawmakers, public broadcasters, and commercial broadcasters. The study then assesses the effectiveness and prospects of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting (CIPB), a grassroots group attempting to reform the medium. This analysis concludes that CIPB's recommendation for restructuring and financing largely comports with most scholars' ideas. And its development of a nationwide network of local chapters and alliances often is exemplary of practices researchers associate with effective social movement organizations. But hegemonic political, economic, social, and cultural constraints impede the group's effectiveness and prospects.
Title: Reforming public broadcasting's problematic publicness: An analysis of the effectiveness and prospects of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting.
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Name(s): Petrich, Kevin M.
Florida Atlantic University, Degree grantor
Fejes, Fred A., Thesis advisor
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Electronic Thesis Or Dissertation
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2003
Publisher: Florida Atlantic University
Place of Publication: Boca Raton, Fla.
Physical Form: application/pdf
Extent: 315 p.
Language(s): English
Summary: In 1967, American public broadcasting was established with a mandate to offer educational and artistic programs, a forum for debate and controversy, and a voice for the otherwise voiceless. Public radio and television's mission was, in some respects, comparable to the role of the ideal public sphere, a realm removed from state and market interference and in which citizens discuss matters of common concern, without regard to race, gender, class, or individual self-interest. Yet much of the medium's promise has remained unfulfilled, its existence irrelevant to most Americans. This study first explores the meaning of publicness, inquires into the causes of its problematic manifestation in public broadcasting, and envisions a more public form of the system. Publicness requires inclusive access and full participation by citizens, accountability, and insulation from political and commercial pressures. But public broadcasting's publicness, already narrowed by the upper-middle-class, secular, heterosexist, white, male biases of its founders, is further hindered by systemic insularity and infighting, inadequate funding, elected officials' micro-management, and commercial broadcasters' fear of competition. Most observers agree that reform of the system for the 21st century requires restructuring and creation of a new funding mechanism, in addition to an expanded definition of culture, more participation by citizens, and greater utilization of digital media technologies. However, any such reform is likely to encounter several political, economic, social, and cultural obstacles from lawmakers, public broadcasters, and commercial broadcasters. The study then assesses the effectiveness and prospects of Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting (CIPB), a grassroots group attempting to reform the medium. This analysis concludes that CIPB's recommendation for restructuring and financing largely comports with most scholars' ideas. And its development of a nationwide network of local chapters and alliances often is exemplary of practices researchers associate with effective social movement organizations. But hegemonic political, economic, social, and cultural constraints impede the group's effectiveness and prospects.
Identifier: 9780496568758 (isbn), 12059 (digitool), FADT12059 (IID), fau:8972 (fedora)
Collection: FAU Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection
Note(s): Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Florida Atlantic University, 2003.
Subject(s): Public broadcasting
Social movements
Broadcasting policy
Broadcasting--Law and legislation
Held by: Florida Atlantic University Libraries
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/fau/fd/FADT12059
Sublocation: Digital Library
Use and Reproduction: Copyright © is held by the author, with permission granted to Florida Atlantic University to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Use and Reproduction: http://rightsstatements.org/vocab/InC/1.0/
Host Institution: FAU
Is Part of Series: Florida Atlantic University Digital Library Collections.