ERIC Number: ED180012
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Accountability and Broadcast Diversity: A Proposal for Community Control of Radio Formats.
Glasser, Theodore L.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards for diversity in radio broadcasting apply only to news and public affairs programing--not to entertainment programing. In addition, the FCC has defined diversity solely in terms of what any one station broadcasts regardless of what other stations in the same service area may be programing. Diversity as a goal of broadcast regulation can be examined in the context of three hypotheses: it is mandated by the First Amendment; it is necessary to remedy a structurally deficient system of broadcasting; and it yields pluralistic programing, which is itself a "meritorious good." Of the three, the latter may be the most significant according to economist Bruce Owen, who suggests, however, that format duplication may increase consumer satisfaction. Listeners who prefer a particular kind of programing comprise a "community of taste" and these communities delineate a market's need for pluralistic programing even though a particular community of taste may not be of enough economic interest to advertisers to support a station. One solution might be for the FCC to establish local boards to identify communities of taste and assign stations to each. This would necessitate some form of subsidy for those stations assigned unprofitable communities of taste. (TJ)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Speech Communication Association (65th, San Antonio, TX, November 10-13, 1979)