Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412972048 | Print ISBN: 9780761929574 | Online ISBN: 9781412972048| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Public Television Journalism
Public television news is an alternative to commercial news programming that positions the audience as information-seeking citizens rather than consumers. The public television model seeks to provide news that is important to a self-governing public regardless of its commercial viability in the electronic media marketplace. American public television news emerged in the mid-twentieth century in response to at least three concerns raised by critics of commercial television news: (1) that concentration of commercial media ownership into fewer hands invited homogenization of news and narrowing of opinions; (2) that commercial imperatives required news to have an entertainment value that prioritized sensationalism over serious reporting; and (3) that privately owned media relegated viewers to the role of passive receivers of news. Ostensibly free from corporate control, advertising pressures, and the quest for ratings, public television news is generally marked by longer formats, more in-depth coverage of issues, slower pacing, and less focus ...