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ERIC Number: ED314794
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-May
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Meaning of the "Public Interest" in Communications Policy--Part I: Its Origins in State and Federal Regulation.
Rowland, Willard D., Jr.
The late 1980s' resurgent appeal to public interest standards entails a misunderstanding of the real meaning of "public interest" and, whatever the merits of the critique of the deficiencies during the recent regulatory period, the standard still contains within it the seeds of its own compromise, if not destruction. Even among its strongest proponents, confusion about its essential character and ultimate applications in applied communication technology exist. Well before the advent of broadcasting and the particular regulatory measures adopted for it, American public policy had established an accommodation between public and private interests that turned largely around the economic well-being of the industries and the assumption that public service benefits would derive most fully from that relationship. The evidence from the long prior experience of state and federal regulatory policy is that the public interest standard had been developing as a key doctrine in American economic and social policy for nearly a century. It was upon that platform that much of the political and industrial policy for the new broadcast law would be erected. Many of the implicit understandings about the public interest in the previous experience would now migrate into the new order, and in spite of continuing confusions about the matter, then and now, the underlying significance of the public interest standard would likewise be transferred into the new broadcast communications realm. (Thirty references are attached.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive; Historical Materials
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A