Public Service Broadcasting

Perhaps the most striking and important perception of the impact of electronic media was that it could no longer be thought of as particular to this or that society. What was new about electronic media was their global impact: they created, for the first time in history, the possibility of point-to-point, instant, live communication between any two points on the globe – ‘the global village’. The Internet was officially launched in 7959, and for the first two decades of its life was largely a network used by and for researchers.

By the beginning of the 1990s, the Internet’s role had changed radically. From a text-based medium in universities and research institutions, the Internet had become an everyday communications technology’ People experimented with the Internet, pioneering new media practices and forms’ finding new ways of consuming and using media (Cunningham & Turner, 2006; p. 259). Global television is a very real phenomenon when millions and millions of people, scattered all over the world, have simultaneous access to an event such as the Olympics.

Television today is intimately linked to the character of national and international politics, business and war. Through television, cultural narratives, images, songs and jokes circulate around the world. When a programme like Dallas is watched in over a hundred different countries it is clear that electronic media contribute to the formation of a global culture – a culture of consumption, many have argued, underpinned by global capitalism – which has serious implications for national and local cultures.

A key aspect of the ‘gap’ between North and South, the so-called developed and developing regions of the world, is a communications divide – the unequal flow of information and entertainment between first and third worlds. Week 6: What are the most important ethical issues confronting journalists? (200 words) The Internet shapes and redefines a number of moral and ethical issues confronting journalists when operating online or making use of online resources. Traditional media ethics at least offer journalism a general basis from which one can explore other fields, a basis of standards of truth, objectivity, and accuracy.

Apart from this moral way of thinking, journalists are traditionally seen as professionals who should use several techniques to stop relevancy, inaccuracy, and a lack of objectivity. Yet, when we look at ethics in the contemporary media sphere, it is important to bear in mind growing media literacy of consumers and the many ways in which they clearly resist attempts to create them as an undifferentiated mass (Cunningham & Turner, 2006; p. 313). The most important aspect in every ethical discussion is sometimes referred to as the attitude of the person thinking about ethics (Avery, 1993).

This attitude vis-a-vis ethics implies the will to act responsibly, as such an intense consciousness that doing the right thing is better than just doing something. Ethics in journalism is more often referred to as situational, depending on the particular (context of the) situation at hand and the decision of the journalist in question to act ethically. Week 7: How do the activities of PR departments impact on the content of the Australian media? (200 words) The media in Australia are highly dependent on public relations practitioners for many of the news stories they publish.

This dependence has been created in part by the declining number of journalists employed by news organizations as they seek to increase profits or reduce costs. Public relations practitioners clearly provide a subsidy to the media by providing free copy that often requires little editing. One crucially important global trend of recent decades has been that in which several large international agencies-transnational corporations in their own right form what the trade press calls ‘supergroups’ or ‘megagroups’.

These groups do not operate as unified advertising agencies, but as holding companies which have a management and financial coordination function at a stratospheric level around the planet. This integrates the activities of the group’s member companies in marketing communications with the advertising agencies and their clients on a global basis (Cunningham ; Turner, 2006; p. 224) Newspaper readership is declining throughout the Western world, and Australia is no exception in this respect.

In the face of growing competition from other media for advertising revenue, the number of newspapers has been reducing in Australia. The implication of this fragmentation of the news audience a cross multiple media to public relations practice is that it is becoming increasingly difficult and costly to communicate with the masses. However, the increasing specialization of media products means that it is becoming easier to target messages to particular publics who, for example, subscribe to niche publications or Internet newsgroups.

Given the focused nature of most public relations work, the ubiquitous, yet fragmented character of the media in Australia is generally a boon to public relations activity. Week 8: Discuss the importance of advertising to the Television and print media? (200 words) The choice of media and the relative importance of advertising and other methods of marketing and promotion will vary greatly from product to product. The advantages of direct selling for products where buyers are few and readily identified should mean less relative reliance on advertising in those markets.

Broadcast media, and particularly network TV, have advantages for established or new brands in broad national markets, and for larger firms because of the larger threshold costs involved in using these media. As people move from being relatively invisible, distanced mass audiences to vocal, connected agents, they threaten industry income streams-demanding investment in new technologies, jobs and training, fragmenting traditional advertising revenues, critiquing existing products, providing alternative ones and challenging copyright oligopolies (Cunningham ; Turner, 2006; p.

316). The proportion of advertising accounted for by network TV is significantly related to size, as is the percentage devoted to spot TV. New product introduction also appears positively related to the use of network TV advertising, while not statistically significant at conventional levels, the odds on a positive effect are better than twenty-to-one. Newspaper advertising, on the other hand, is significantly and negatively related to firm size, and positively related to the breadth of the product line.

Week 9: Do the Australian media make or reflect public opinion? (200 words) A speech by a politician in Canberra is likely to be immediately picked up and circulated in the public spheres of East Asia, where it becomes part of the debates and strategies for the management of regional interests and threats to regional coherence. Australia’s perspective on world affairs, international relations and domestic issues is taking on a certain regional complexion when filtered through this framework.

This framework cannot be governed from a central vantage point occupied by government or corporate authority, but remains subject to the hegemonic struggle for legitimacy within a rapidly globalising world sensibility, played out within local/regional contexts. Debate about the role and function of public service broadcasting has been constant since those early days. The concept has evolved and changed as the broadcasting landscape itself has changed (Cunningham & Turner, 2006; p.345)

Through such mediated debates, a sense of a transnational polity begins to emerge. International politics is no longer confined to the corridors of institutional power within the nation state and the exchange of high level communications between elite diplomatic corp. , but is subject to the full glare of media publicity across national borders, available to anyone who watches television or reads newspapers.

Because the affect of mediation is almost immediate, the possibility of partitioning elite political decision-making from perceived responses from constituencies and from adversaries/ interlocutors elsewhere is reduced, leading to a much more transparent and decentred mode of governmental `management’ within the mediated public sphere.


Avery, Robert K. , editor, Public Service Broadcasting in a Multichannel Environment: The History and Survival of an Ideal, New York: Longman, 1993 Cunningham. S ; Turner G. (eds) 2006. The media and Communication in Australia, 2nd eds, Allen ; Unwin, Sydney.