chapter  Chapter Eight
24 Pages

Democracy and the Future of Public Television

ByWilliam Hoynes

This chapter aims to lay the framework for a vision of a new, more public television, offering both principles upon which such an institution should be based and policies that begin to move in that direction. This framework draws on work, also hastened by global changes, in critical social theory that reexamines the relationship between the market, the public sector, and democracy. Traditional mass communication discourse suggests that mass media can be organized along the lines of either state control or market "freedom." This view, particularly in the post-cold war world, needs to be discarded. The chapter suggests five general principles of a democratic media and focuses on how they can be incorporated into our public television system. These principles—social ownership, diversity, participation, interaction, and criticism—may appear to have little relevance for much of our current commercial media.