The Decline and Fall of Public Service Broadcasting


Public broadcasting is the single most important social, cultural, and journalistic institution of the twentieth century. In the past fifteen years it has been assaulted politically, ideologically, technologically, and is everywhere in retreat. This book considers the idea of public service broadcasting and examines in detail the assault made upon it with specific emphasis on global developments and events in the United Kingdom, Japan, Europe, and the United States. Michael Tracey argues that public service broadcasting has been a vital and democratically significant institution now experiencing a terminal decline brought about by changes in political, economic, and technological circumstances. Based on years of research and extensive contact with leading public broadcasters around the world the author examines the idea of public service broadcasting and how for the most part it has vainly (and often ineffectually) struggled to survive in recent years . The author concludes that public broadcasting is, as was once said of Weimar, a corpse on leave. Its likely disappearance constitutes an indication of a real and deep-seated crisis within liberal democracy.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Oxford
Publication year:
  • 1998


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