• 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 Government Years
The government years

The Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 marked a transition from educational to public broadcasting and from foundation to federal financing of a noncommercial television network. The legislation represented a culmination of the policies of the Ford Foundation in the 1950s and of the Kennedy and Johnson administrations in the 1960s. During the 1970s, the federal government became the source or focus of public television's development, from expansion of the system to political conflict with the White House and a grassroots campaign for new legislation.

PBS was incorporated in late 1969 as a station membership organization with nine directors—five representatives of stations, one each for NET and the CPB, plus two representatives of the public at large. The appointment of Hartford Gunn, ...

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