In Made Possible By...
, Village Voice
columnist James Ledbetter considers the current state of public broadcasting and finds it decidedly lacking. During its early heyday, NET (National Educational Television, a forerunner of PBS) regularly aired innovative and provocative public-affairs shows; soon, however, public-television managers began toning down controversial content in a desperate--and doomed--attempt to secure government funding. When even these efforts failed, public television increasingly turned to corporate sponsors to fill the gap, resulting in a movement away from adventurous programming in favor of politically inoffensive, "safe" shows such as Sesame Street
, Masterpiece Theatre
, even Ken Burns's The Civil War
. Today, Ledbetter writes, corporate influence rules in public broadcasting, much as it does in commercial television. A savage indictment of corporate underwriting and bureaucratic inefficiency, Made Possible By...
is also an eloquent defense of public television's possibilities; Ledbetter envisions public broadcasting as a truly democratic arena--and perhaps the only area of American public life not determined by market forces.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“A sharp, persuasive analysis of public broadcasting's decline and fall.”—David Futrelle, Newsday
“Crammed with newsy incidents and amazing quotes ... a valuable source book for years to come.”—Richard Buell, Boston Globe
“Ledbetter's refusal to hide behind Big Bird is refreshing; his recommendations are cogent.”—Martha Bayles, New York Times
“Ledbetter's view is balanced, his eye is cold and sharp, and his research is exhaustive.”—Stephen Stark, Washington Post