We have been talking a lot about media mandates. You will be asked to discuss the mandate for a particular media profession. You will need to consider the mandates of this work: commercial, public, community, DIY, and/or government. You will need to consider how mandates develop and how they influence work in media professions.
Many people spend a lot of their time-consuming media content, and yet the majority of them have very limited knowledge regarding how and why it is developed. Media industries can either be defined by an activity where distribution, production and exhibition fall or by a medium where film, radio, music, and television fall. Commercial media are mainly focused on making profits. However, the industry also produces goods that contribute to discussions and dialogues regarding the important issues in a society (Havens & Lotz, 2016). Goods from media industries also contribute to the disabling, as well as enabling of democracies. They similarly help people in formulating crucial ideas regarding the world.
There two major types of mandates, namely, commercial and non-commercial. The noncommercial mandate can be public, governmental and community-based or DIY. The commercial mandate is paid by various entities. For instance, advertising and marketing budgets are catered for by consumers who pay prices that are often inflated to cover expenses in advertising. Much commercial media combine payment from consumers and advertising. Another way that commercial mandates are paid for is through dual product marketing where various media companies sell content and audiences to advertisers. The commercial mandate has changed a lot; in the past, media companies relied on the products that attracted broad and large audiences. However, today, a lot of the advertiser supported media is developed for a specific demographic of between 18 and 34 years of age with a household income of less than $75,000 and college education qualifications (Havens & Lotz, 2016). The success of commercial mandates is measured on the profits gained. Alternatively, the public noncommercial mandate is paid through the gathering of funds from individuals belonging to a municipality or a nation-state. The collected funds are then consolidated to provide a media service for the people. The mandate is designed to serve the citizens and is seen as innovate, democratic and free from corporate interest. It is quite difficult to determine the success of public noncommercial mandate. Its goal is to advance the social interests of its citizenry through programming above measures like ratings.
Even so, public noncommercial media has its strengths and limitations. The media is demographic, has a wide value accessibility; it is innovative and unlikely to face censorship from corporate interest. However, it is quite challenging to operate public media. One major limitation is its vulnerability to possible interference from the government. Commercial media, on the other hand, is a competitive field that encourages innovation. The media is, likewise, value efficiency and no likely to assert the position of the government. Commercial media is, however, undemocratic and more likely to cater for corporate values.
The public broadcasting system (PBS) is a good example of public media; it is a no profit TV service under the ownership and management of member stations. PBS started broadcasting back in 1970 and has been distributing its programming to about 360 TV stations all over the country (Havens & Lotz, 2016). It is funded by the member station and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). It does not have a central arm of program production; individual stations develop all of its content. PBS is operated and owned by member stations and not a network with many affiliates. It was formed to try and realize national cohesiveness and provide a pipeline for programming. Most of its programs are supplied by WGBH (Boston), WETA (D.C.) and WNET (NY). CPB aims at ensuring and facilitating access to universal noncommercial high-quality telecommunication services and programming. The basic purpose of public telecommunication is the provision of enlightening, informative and enriching programs and services to the community. Apart from providing such services and products, CPB's particular responsibility is to promote the production of programs that incorporate creative risks and those that address the needs of underserved and unserved audiences, particularly the minority and children.
The largest source funding for public broadcasting is from the viewers who often offer donations to member station. This station then proceeds to fund PBS through paying fees for station services and programming. Other sources of revenue are derived from licenses and royalties, foundations and corporations underwriting, education department and CPB, and sales of an educational product such as books, CDs, and DVDs. Public TV audience is mainly made up of old viewers of 50 years an above, as well as really young viewers of between the ages of one and seven years (Havens & Lotz, 2016). Another significant audience is by families with lower income who are often unable to afford commercial cable cost thus opt for this kind of broadcasts.
Community noncommercial mandate is paid for mainly through donations. However, many media with this kind of mandate are not completely different from the commercial media. Community noncommercial mandate is mainly created, as well as consumed within subcultures or communities. Fanzines or the local access cable is a good example of this kind of media. Governmental mandate media, on the other hand, is paid for by the government although in some cases the media may decide to utilize certain commercial principle but with strict controls by the government. But, given that, the media was created to serve the needs of the government of the day mainly, in many cases, societies under governmental mandate are characterized by authoritarian governments. Its main purpose is propagandizing the citizens. The mandate is widespread and might be the main mandate in national systems, particularly outside Europe and North America.
We have also been talking about media regulation. You will be asked to consider regulation of a particular industry? You will need to consider how the industry is government-regulated and/or self-regulated. You will have to account for how the industry developed its regulations and whether its regulations apply to content, structure, and/or operations.
Regulations are guidelines, rules, as well as policies governing the manner in which the media industries produce, exhibit and distribute their products. Regulations are normally enforced by the country in which a certain media operates but it can also be done transnationally. Among the entities that regulate the media are international bodies, national governments, together with self-regulation. The structure of the industry, access and operations and the content are among the media items that are often regulated. The First Amendment in the US is the starting point for the regulations (Havens & Lotz, 2016). Broadcasting regulation involves the use of electromagnetic spectrum radio waves to transmit signals. TV and Radio broadcasters borrow the spectrum space. The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) regulates and licenses individual affiliates and not the networks. This is in sharp contrast with satellite and cable system operators who establish their own infrastructure.
The FCC mandate is composed of five commissioners with a maximum term period of five years. The mandate is subject to Senate but appointed by the president. The official purpose of the FCC is to facilitate an efficient, rapid, worldwide and nation-wide radio and wire communication services with sufficient facilities at an affordable price to all US citizens. Majority of the media sectors have an association in the industry representing their interests. These associations include the National Cable and Telecommunication Association, America Recording Industry Association, and the Broadcasters National Association.
Media self-regulation falls into two main categories, the formal and the informal regulations. The former encompasses the development of self-imposed laws categorizing and limiting content. Examples of formal self-regulation rules include Motion Picture Ratings System, Hays Code, Family Hour, Parental Music Advisory, Entertainment Software Ratings Board, and Parental Guidelines (Havens & Lotz, 2016). Informal self-regulation, on the other hand, is when workers in the industry perceive particular types of content as being more viable commercially. Content regulation is a concept that has over time developed around every type of media, including video games, comics TV, and even films. Owing to the fact that the first amendment protects the freedom of speech, it has become increasingly difficult to impose content regulation in the US.
However, the 'public good' status of media makes them more vulnerable to theft as compared to private physical goods. With the introduction of peer to peer networks and digital reproduction, the theft susceptibility of media has grown a great deal (Havens & Lotz, 2016). In 1976, the fair use was established through the Copyright Act. The 1992 Audio Home Recording Act was established after long discussions regarding over tape recording. The act made it legal for analog recording of audio media at home for personal use and set up a digital tape royalty. The Copyright Extension Act developed in 1998 extended corporate copyright to 95 years after being published or 120 years after it is created (Havens & Lotz, 2016). The act also extended copyright to the life of an author over 70 years of age. The 1998 Digital Millennial Copyright Act criminalized dissemination, as well as the production of devices, technology or even services with the intention of circumventing measures controlling access to copyright works (Havens & Lotz, 2016). The FCC is mandated with granting license regulations to individual stations. The license is rarely turned down and is subject to renewal after eight years.
Regulation that governs media ownership specifies the population percentage that any owner of a TV station may reach. This percent has been set at exactly 39% (Havens & Lotz, 2016). The 1996 Telecommunication Act abolished limits that were set on radio industry ownership. In an effort to ensure diversity of both localism and voices, media cross-ownership within the same market has been regulated. Competition alone would not be sufficient considering that certain media have become natural monopolies. Congress has at various levels regulated the cable TV and Telephone industries in line with their services and pricing. However, in the 1990s many of the regulations were lifted, and as a result, cable rates have gone up.
TV Broadcasting and radio in contrast to the press have always been subjected to higher restriction levels at times even involving public control close to a censorship condition. The high level of broadcasting regulation can be attributed to several factors. Regulating radio and broadcast ensures universal availability to the citizens of the nation concerning the service. It is also aimed at allocating broadcasting and frequencies concessions in an orderly and equitable way, as well as supervising conformity to the set regulations. The regulations also ensure a wide range of services and access to various opportunities in accordance to the societal needs, which translate to diversity in political, social, region and cultural spheres (Havens & Lotz, 2016). Restriction in the industry also promotes high content quality in accord with the locally set standards and values with specific reference to education, in...
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