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Public Service Broadcasting Essay

1156 words - 5 pages

Paddy Scannell’s article ‘Public Service Broadcasting and Modern Public Life’, defending the viewpoints from Peacock Committee, tried to remind people public service broadcasting is not only a gold digging business but also a benefit for democratization. In order to illustrate public service broadcasting is not established for profit, he used BBC as an example. Taking two things from Habermas to support his idea those are a historical approach and the concern with ‘general public’ (Scannell,1989).Thus, as Scannell stated, public service broadcasting played an unconsciously beneficial, it is fair to ask that why did broadcasting play a social role improving democracy? In other words, are public service broadcastings contributed to the development of democracy global-perspectively actively or broadcasting had just fellow the rule of market which means promoted democracy was a result of adapting market.

Public service broadcasting has two essential characteristics: the provision of a service of mixed programmes on national channels available to all’. As far as Scannell was concerned, PSB is accessible to all citizens consisting of assorted programmes, which is exactly the same as Habermas’ public sphere – an area is guaranteed to all citizens (Habermas, 1989). According to Habermas, public sphere is where public opinion can be formed. Scannell stated that B formed a new public life which audiences (includes viewers, listeners and audiences), as for Scannell they could be a general public, are entitled to have their opinions. Scannell believed that B ‘resocialized private life’ as a result of a new public life. B broke the undoubtedly ‘aura’ of performers, gave communicative rights to audiences. On account of broadcasting is available for all, as PSB were a public sphere, anyone can discuss what they saw and heard.

As he mentioned before, BBC is a PBS, then, what does the word ‘public’ mean? As Habermas concerned, ‘public’ should be the opposite of ‘private’, however, in bourgeois society, ‘individuals’ get together became ‘public’ in public sphere(Jaromír Volek & KMSŽ FSS MU, 2006). It is the same when Scannell talked about broadcasting in bourgeois society. Furthermore, Scannell (2000) described the ‘For-anyone-as-someone’ structure. He argued that private life is important because society admits that private life requires public recognition and guarantees, which is an indispensable feature of democratic society. Since broadcaster cannot over audience what broadcaster can determine is the representation, not the communicative context, in this case, B offers a realm that audience has rights to discuss. As described above, this phenomenon can form public opinions independently which means not being shaped by higher-power (representative public sphere), in other words, everyone is equal that is what Scannell (1989) said that PSB contributed to ‘the democratization of daily life’.

The distinction between ‘public’ and ‘individual’ in both...

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