Public Broadcasting: Past, Present & Future
In 1967 the Carnegie Commission Report, the founding document for public broadcasting, stated unambiguously that the U.S. should have a non-commercial TV and radio system offering programming that serves as “a forum for debate and controversy” and “provide[s] a voice for groups in the community that may otherwise be unheard.” That same year, Congress passed the Public Broadcasting Act, the last major piece of Great Society legislation to be enacted. In subsequent decades, political pressure and lack of adequate funding have moved public TV & radio away from their founding principles.
Robert McChesney teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is the author of many books including Digital Disconnect. He is co-author with John Nichols of Dollarocracy. He is the co-founder of Free Press, a national media reform organization. The Utne Reader listed him among its “50 visionaries who are changing the world.”