Chapter

Freedom in Broadcasting

Rupert Murdoch

in Television Policy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748617173
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.003.0013
Freedom in Broadcasting

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In this lecture, the author, chief executive of News International, offers a highly contentious and critical assessment of public service broadcasting, denouncing it as an ideology deployed by ‘propagandists’ to protect the interests of a narrow broadcasting elite, but with debilitating consequences for broadcasting in Britain. Most significantly, public service broadcasting and its ‘guardians’ militate against the prospects for viewer freedom and choice. The author's argument rests on a ‘simple principle’: ‘in every area of economic activity in which competition is attainable, it is much to be preferred to monopoly’. By contrast, public service broadcasting is nowhere clearly defined, although the author redresses this problem by suggesting that ‘anybody who, within the law of the land, provides a service which the public wants at a price it can afford is providing a public service’. He argues that the success of Sky Television will be as much a public service as ITV.

Keywords: public service broadcasting; Britain; freedom; choice; competition; monopoly; Sky Television; ITV

Chapter.  3521 words. 

Subjects: Television

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