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A Future for Public Service Television$
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Des Freedman and Vana Goblot

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781906897710

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.001.0001

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Public Service Television and Civic Engagement

Public Service Television and Civic Engagement

Chapter:
(p.309) 43 Public Service Television and Civic Engagement
Source:
A Future for Public Service Television
Author(s):

Daniel Jackson

Publisher:
The MIT Press
DOI:10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.003.0045

The news media figures prominently in most appraisals of democracy today. This is because it is the main channel of communication between elected representatives and citizens; and the (self-appointed) watchdog of the powerful. While news organisations are sometimes reluctant to accept the responsibility that comes with such power, it is implicit in the core principles of journalistic philosophy, whereby attempts to constrain or censor the news media are seen as threats to democracy itself. However, these normative roles also are surrounded by many tensions that surround the ability of our news media to perform their democratic functions. This chapter discusses four of these tensions: (i) diversity versus commonality; (ii) the information necessary for citizens to participate effectively in democratic life, versus the entertainment-driven focus of an increasingly commercial-oriented media; (iii) the need of the media to treat people as citizens on the one hand and as consumer publics on the other; and (iv) broadcasters' relationship with the press.

Keywords:   public service broadcasting, public service media, civic engagement, news organisations, democracy, news media, censorship

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