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Public service

At a time political and social disconnection we need public service broadcasting more than ever

By David Cox   March 2001

The label “public service broadcasting” does no service to the phenomenon it attempts to identify. It is both opaque and drearily off-putting, while gratuitously insulting to the other forms of broadcasting which can also reasonably claim to provide service to the public. None the less, casting sounds and images through the ether with the aim of informing and enlightening a mass public, rather than simply responding to consumer demand, has proved one of humanity’s better ideas. Public service broadcasting (PSB) became a central pillar of the last century’s cultural, educational and civic life. Now the pillar is tottering. Does it…

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