Role of Public Service Broadcasting in Democracy Essay

2539 Words 11 Pages
“The concept of needing a license to watch television is probably pretty damn bizarre to anyone outside the UK but it is, unfortunately, a cold hard fact here. The sole purpose of said license is to fund the BBC,… So what do you get for £121.00 a year? Rubbish, that's what. Countless gardening, cooking and DIY programs, and enough God-awful nature shows to turn a die-hard vegan into a ferocious carnivore. Oh sure there are a few decent documentaries, an occasional film that's worth watching and there are some pretty good history programs now and then, but hey, I can see that stuff on the other channels too!".
(Bannister, 2005, pp. 1-2)
This statement of a man named Andy Banister is just one and the simplest of all the critiques on the
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As its operation has a strong relationship with the government, the content aired here tends to match the elite’s interest of high culture and justifies this culture as what public needs (Syvertsen, 2003).
Then, along with the social and economic development marked by public plurality and materialism, the idea of ‘public’ which tends to generalize the society is shifted to a post-modern perspective respecting every member of the society as a unique and autonomous ‘private’ creature. This paradigm then supports the existence of commercial broadcasters which respect the public as consumers by providing them with a wide-range choice of programs and let them choose independently. On the other hand, the supporters of this paradigm see that the operation of PSB which tends to monopolize the media landscape and dictate the culture is no longer appropriate. One of them is Elizabeth Jacka. In 2003, she wrote an article claiming that the operation of PSB clashes the principle of democracy which gives people the ultimate authority to decide what is ideal for them. This essay attempts to evaluate the accuracy of both postmodern paradigm which is supported by Jacka, and modern paradigm which is supported by Garnham in debating the existence of PSB in democratic society. Having seen that the paradigms actually share the same final aim which is

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