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Public Access Broadcasting
Public access broadcasting

While readers' letters to the editor have always guaranteed citizens' mediated participation in political debate and the public sphere, the development of radio and television generated new and specific programme formats designed to provide an impartial and balanced forum in which listeners and viewers can participate with other members of the public and/or politicians to discuss matters concerning politics and governance.

These programmes, which have proliferated since the pioneer programme Any Questions first aired in 1948, typically assume one of three formats. Studio debates involve audiences posing questions to a panel of politicians (Question Time), while phone-in debates (usually a radio format) require the public to pose questions to politicians via the telephone or Internet (Nicky Campbell or the inflammatory US ‘Shock ...

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