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Viewers Like You? How Public TV Failed The People

1 rating: 2.0
2002 non-fiction book

How "public" is public television if only a small percentage of the American people tune in on a regular basis? When public television addresses "viewers like you," just who are you? Despite the current of frustration with commercial television that … see full wiki

Author: Laurie Ouellette
Genre: Media
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Date Published: October 15, 2002
1 review about Viewers Like You? How Public TV Failed The...

Can public television ever be relevant to the masses?

  • Dec 15, 2008
  • by
With "Viewers Like You? How Public TV Failed The People" Laurie Ouellette has produced a scholarly work tracing the origins of public television.  On the one hand, she points out that liberals complain that PBS's reliance on funding from private corporations compromises the networks ability to tackle controversial subjects that might be construed to be anti-business.  Conservatives argue that PBS is nothing more than a programming service for the elite and that no government subsidies should be forthcoming.  Ouellette makes the case that from the very beginning most PBS prime time programming was conceived by and directed at upper middle class and affluent white people.  She also points out that in her opinion this remains the case today.  I think she has a valid point.  The author argues that as long as this attitude prevails public television will continue to be irrelevant to minorities and lower income whites.  The author would prefer to see at least some prime time programming aimed at more general audiences.   Whatever your opinion of the merits of government subsidized public television "Viewers Like You? How Public TV Failed The People" is well worth your time.   Having said that I must warn you that this book is not an easy read and I lowered my rating a bit for that reason.

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