Commercialism in Public Broadcasting

Though public broadcasting in America was originally intended to “help us see America whole, in all its diversity,” according to the Carnegie Commission of Public Broadcasting, it is becoming less and less diverse with the growing need for monetary competition. Commercialism is running rampant in our society, and public broadcasting as we once knew it is essentially dead. Most programs that discuss important issues are voiced by talking heads and government officials, neglecting the voices of the average American people.

A study called “The Cost of Survival: Political Discourse and the New PBS,” found several examples of corruption and bias in public broadcasting. “Voices of public activists were entirely neglected, so that public television’s coverage of the impeachment was filtered through the same politically elite lens as commercial coverage,” one article points out.

There is also an abundance of commercials cluttering up the stations, now taking advantage of the industry’s shift toward making profit. Though once focused on providing the public with important information, the public broadcasting system now abandons their original goal for the sake of commercialism. “As for the noncommercial mission of PBS, there are now lots of commercials on the network, and they are longer and more explicit than ever before, including pitches on children’s shows for theme parks and fast food,” the article points out.

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