The owner of media is public, not corporates.

15 May

“Sunny Day Sweepin’ the clouds away…Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?

 

Do you remember this song? The sesame street theme song started singing in my mind when I was reading the article “The Media Monopoly” these days. The song should be familiar to the people in United States because it is a beloved household TV program broadcasted by public televisions for children. To me, it is also a childhood memory because it had been broadcasted in Taiwan. I love the characters and even bought some lovely toys of the show. That’s why I am truly connected to the feeling that people felt angry when they heard about the budget cut of the public televisions. They love Sesame Street as me and they don’t want to lose it.

The article mentioned that there is a fallacy of “two-model choice” in current American society. For them, the media will be classified to “socialism” or “dictatorial government propaganda” if any tax support is involved. On the other side, the only model accepted in America is that media is totally commercial and therefore it is automatically “free and democratic”. That’s why the non-commercial television programs in US are rare. However, the reality is that there is lots of countries have free and democratic public broadcastings and also have tax support involved. The citizens have lots of chances and rights to access the public broadcasting systems as well. But American society seems to keep its silence on this parallel way and still stuck on the “two-model choice” fallacy. Hence, there is not many shows like Sesame Street have educational meaning in United States now. Most of the shows are just for entertainment due to the purpose of commercial media is “making money”.

 So why is the public broadcasting so important to people? The article indicated a lot of serious phenomenon in current US society and public broadcasting should have power to influence people on those significant issues, unfortunately it didn’t. For example, the problems of huge health care expense when people need emergency room, the problems of urgent needs on increasing funding for public education such as libraries and other supports for educational activities…etc. The public broadcasting should devote its value to discover these public subjects and provide the accurate information to public. However, now America is full of commercial televisions and in order to catch audiences’ eyeballs, the shows they offer to public usually include many violence and exaggerating stories. This situation caused a serious result is that people don’t know what important public projects are happening in the country. If people aren’t aware of the important issues, how can they execute their votes for the public decisions correctly? To be honest, this has been existed in my mind for a long time since I have a right to vote in Taiwan. I always wonder how can I vote a good and responsible candidate to solve the public issues under the condition that I even don’t understand what’s happening in the country? The broadcasting condition in Taiwan is kind of similar to US. Commercial televisions or radios and usually controlled by corporates who have their own political position. Hence, the news and talk shows in different television programs often have opposite aspects and explanations to the same fact. How can I tell which one is more true to the fact? There is only one public television channel in Taiwan and usually is one of my favorite news channels due to its unbiased and objective reports. However, I still think the information resource is really scarce and make me feel hard to contribute my knowledge and passion to improve my country.

 I have so many reflections to this article and resonate to lots of points of view in the arguments. I know it’s hard to find a balance between profit and public benefit when corporates are running the broadcasting business. However, I still have expectation in the future is that people can point out the good direction for the media. People can actually let media know who is the owner of them. Not corporates, but the audience the corporates have.

Reference
MarshalGrover. (2009) “Sesame Street Theme” 1998-2001. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LXqMzmFSX_4

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