Understanding Society, Culture, and Television

By Paul Monaco | Go to book overview

9
Art for Whose Sake?

Direct government ownership of the electronic media has been commonplace in most of the world historically. In some countries, with the United States as the prime example, television has been privately owned but nonetheless regulated by the government. The question of the extent of governmental ownership and regulation would appear to be the primary issue in public policy toward television. And that it is, on the surface. The deeper questions underlying public policy toward television are: What is art? and What should be the government's relationship to art in a democracy? I must conclude that these two questions continue to be answered, across the breadth of society in nations all around the world, without regard to the enormous changes in art during the twentieth century.

Since shortly after World War II these changes have accelerated exponentially and expanded globally. Nonetheless, most cultural debate continues to frame questions regarding the relationship of government to art as if these changes had never occurred. In nearly all quarters there prevails the assumption that the nature of art remains immutable and that the pre-democratic patronage of art by rulers and elites is a legacy that must be carried on in contemporary democracies by governmental agencies. This notion of supporting art through public funding, moreover, conforms neatly with the idea of governmental control over television, either by direct ownership or by regulation.

The historical patronage of the arts by ecclesiastical, royal, and aristocratic entities in Europe, however, could never be effectively and

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Understanding Society, Culture, and Television
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface vii
  • 1- Storytelling and Television 1
  • Note 13
  • 2- Television and the Aesthetics Of Power, Virtuosity, and Repetition 15
  • Notes 25
  • 3- Common Contemporary Themes 27
  • Notes 35
  • 4- Agendas, Politics, and Television 37
  • Notes 45
  • 5- Globalization and Television 47
  • Notes 56
  • 6- Wellsprings of Our Discontent With Television 59
  • Notes 72
  • 7- Television and Advertising 75
  • Notes 85
  • 8- Television and Government 87
  • Notes 97
  • 9- Art for Whose Sake? 99
  • Notes 111
  • 10- What Everyone Must Know About Television 113
  • Notes 124
  • Afterword 127
  • Note 128
  • Bibliography 129
  • Index 137
  • About the Author 143
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