In 1995 public television faced possible elimination of federal funding, potentially commercializing this unique type of broadcasting. Recovering a Public Vision for Public Television suggests that these recent strains are the same political blows that have historically undermined public broadcasting; the result is programming that no longer prioritizes social reform and popular community. This book investigates three important moments in the development of public media in the United States: the Wagner-Hatfield Amendment of 1934, the FCC hearings for educational frequencies in 1950-51, and the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. Glenda Balas not only examines these critical events in detail, but also explores how they restrict public broadcasting's institutional vision. The book's six-point plan proposes a reconstitution and rejuvenation of public broadcasting's mission so it can advance into the twenty-first century as a leader in public speech.
Glenda R. Balas is assistant professor of communication and journalism at the University of New Mexico.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Glide Path to Extinction: Consequences of a Failed Public Mission Chapter 3 A Stewardship of Compromise: Public Television and the Radio Spectrum Chapter 4 Domestications of the Hearth: The Battle for Educational Frequencies in 1950-51 Chapter 5 Community and Performance: Getting the Whole Town Talking Chapter 6 The Re-Forming of Public Broadcasting: A Reconstitution of Public Practices