• 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.

Public Radio: From Supplemental to Primary Service
Public radio: From supplemental to primary service

During the period from the mid-1980s into the 1990s, NPR became a more visible and influential part of the national press corps. Its president, Douglas Bennet, a Washington apparatchik, emphasized that NPR, despite its inauspicious origins, entered “the big leagues, the very big leagues,” which entailed “a whole new accountability” in its news programming (cited in Porter, 1990, p. 27). NPR's growth transformed its relationship with the political forces in the nation's capital and led to changes in its approach to news reporting. Both the political right and the political left subjected ATC and Morning Edition to rigorous criticism. In addition, financial pressures led NPR to seek underwriting for its programming, requiring ...

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