• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The origins and evolution of the major insititutions in the United States for noncommercial radio and television are explored in this unique volume. Ralph Engelman examines the politics behind the development of National Public Radio, Radio Pacifica and the Public Broadcasting Service. He traces the changing social forces that converged to launch and shape these institutions from the Second World War to the present day. The book challenges several commonly held beliefs - including that the mass media is simply a manipulative tool - and concludes that public broadcasting has an enormous potential as an emancipatory vehicle.

The Spread of Community Radio and Pacifica's Institutional Crisis
The spread of community radio and pacifica's institutional crisis

In the years following its transformation by the new left, Pacifica became a locus of social conflict, helped inspire a community radio movement, and experienced a wrenching institutional crisis. At first, attacks came from elements of the public offended by Pacifica's programming, especially its coverage of the affairs of African Americans. In 1968, for example, the reading of an anti-Semitic poem on WBAI became a cause célèbre in New York City. During a teachers' strike fraught with conflict over community control of public schools and with racial tension in the Oceanhill-Brownsville section of Brooklyn, one teacher read a vitriolic anti-Semitic poem written by one of his students on ...

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