Radio and Social Pollution
Wed 7/23/08 5:51 PM
I am listening to the BBC at this very moment. But even NPR and PBS are dramatic improvements over their commercial counterparts. Radio stations owned and operated by universities also tend to be good. WHRB (Harvard) and WUSC (USC) are long-time favorites. From what I have heard most European radio is pretty good. I regularly listen to stations in Norway, Belgium, France, and Germany. OE1 in Austria is another favorite. I may have a selection bias, but I am selecting European radio a great deal and US radio not so much.
We grant “public” licenses for broadcasters to use the “public” airwaves, but we do not enforce any standards. There is no reason why we should not enforce some kind of standard for responsibility, veracity, respectability, community relevance and improvement through the media and be willing to pay responsible professionals to raise those standards through taxes. It is far better to pay taxes than to submit to the constant and overwhelming social pollution of advertising that destroys so much about our selves and communities.
The internet has some possibilities as well, but that is another very different story…