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Comment on: Noncommercial and Public Media

Posted January 20th, 2010 by William Freedman - Associate Bureau Chief, Media Bureau

The Future of Media project encourages comments and suggestions on the key questions about the changing media landscape.  This post includes questions about non-commercial media, including non-profit websites, public TV and radio.  (The full public notice can be found here.) 
 
21.   With regard to nationally-oriented noncommercial television and radio (including public broadcasting stations), what have been the trends and what is the current state of affairs regarding news staffing and coverage (international, national, and local)? 
 
22.   For local noncommercial television and radio stations, what have been the trends for staffing, the amount of local news and information aired, audience ratings for such programming and local station financial health? If there have been news staff contractions, what type of programming has been cut back or changed? What have been the trends in funding from governmental, private sources and viewer/listener donations? What has been the role of government regulation? What has been the impact of competition for audience from the Internet or other information sources? How are public broadcasters using the Internet, mobile applications, their multicast channels/additional program streams, or other new technologies to provide local news and information? How are they collaborating with non-broadcasters? How have these changes affected the availability of informational and educational programming for children and other informational and educational material?
 
23.   In general, how, if at all, should noncommercial television and radio licensees change to meet the challenges and opportunities of the digital era? How does the role of public media differ from that of commercial media? If there is a greater role for public media in meeting the information needs of local communities, how should that be financed? What role, if any, should government subsidies play? Should legal requirements regarding underwriting and advertising be changed?
 
24.   Should the Public Broadcasting Act be amended to restructure and augment investments in noncommercial media? Are the experiences of other countries instructive on this question?   
 
25.    What should be the role of non-profit media that are not noncommercial broadcast licensees (for instance, non-profit websites, news services, mobile applications, or reporting-oriented organizations)? What public policy changes (including changes to the tax law, corporate law, or rules about advertising) could improve the viability of non-profit models? How should noncommercial television and radio licensees work with independent non-profit media entities to improve efficiency and content quality? What changes in law or practice could encourage better collaboration among non-profit media?
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Posted in Public Notices Ideas and Debates Noncommercial and Public Media
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