Article excerpt

The media, their economic, ethical and cultural aspects, are among the hottest topics covered by the media itself. It is ever popular. Almost everyone finds it difficult to keep abreast of the wave of publications, columns and reports - from within and from without the industry, some factual and descriptive and others partisan and targeted - most of which deserve study.

From time to time, we have reprinted articles which may not involve local institutions or people but which affect everyone. Limited space prohibits us from exploring in depth many of these offerings. Following are a few current topics with which we have not dealt with recently, but hope to do so some time in the future. Meanwhile here are our thoughts on them.

* A Congressional push is on for passage of a regulation that would force broadcasters to transmit three hours a week of educational programming for children. Broadcasters and some adherents of First Amendment rights object to any governmental interference in the flow of information. Others argue that stations use the public airwaves for free and that this should require them to return some value to society. We agree. It is not a First Amendment issue but one of balancing public interest - or more particularly the children's interest - against the unending drive for more profits.

* The telecommunications industry and law has not only been changed at the federal, but also at the state level. The Missouri legislature revised state regulations but no one really knows what effect they will have - neither do we. In future issues we hope to report on that topic in some detail.

* The politicians, business interests and the media keep telling us that antitrust laws are just another case of government overregulation. But V.R. Berghahn, a historian, writes in - of all paces - a Forbes publication, Audacity, that "they're actually good for the economy and that, as World War II proved, they're even a key to American freedom. …