Last semester I took a class called Media and U.S. Policy. This was the first time that I truly grasped the importance of public broadcasting. Citizens in foreign countries are generally more politically aware and engaged because news shows are not afraid to push the boundaries and delve deep into the political realm. Instead of a liberal model like the United States has, most European countries hold a polarized pluralist model. This model means that European news outlets tend to target the literary and politically focussed people. They engage more in a process of horizontal communication among political elites than in a vertical process of mediating between elites and the mass public. This type of communication is much more effective because it allows news outlets to incorporate the public voice, fulfilling their intended role as a watchdog since they are constantly questioning government actions. Public broadcasting allows European news outlets to do this type of reporting because they do not feel obliged or pressured to obey by certain standards of conduct. They are free of commercial and government control.
I find it incredibly sad that the United States form of public broadcasting is essentially nonexistent. The study that FAIR published shows how warped the public system has become. Relying on official sources has taken over the airwaves, and that’s incredibly upsetting because they are often not the most credited source to speak about certain issues. In regards to Iraq, Newshour presented material almost identical to that of mainstream media.
As public broadcasting loses its independence, it is now more important than ever before for alternative media outlets to publish outright injustices and skewed governmental decisions.