Public Broadcasting in Britain and America

Archive Report

Debate Over Direction of Public TV

Publicly financed television in both England and the United States has become a battleground of ideas about democratic control. Fifty years after the British Broadcasting Company went on the air with its first radio program, Nov. 13, 1922, a debate is being heard once again over the future direction of broadcasting in the United Kingdom. In the United States the funding of public television, long the critical issue, has assumed political overtones. President Nixon in vetoing a bill for long-term funding of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), spoke last June of “serious and widespread concern” that it was becoming the “center of power and focal point of control for the entire public broadcasting system.” The veto and other ...

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