Friday, October 24, 2008

Nader In 1994: `Establish Audience Network!'

In an essay that appeared in State Of The Union 1994 [2008 Independent U.S. Presidential Candidate] Ralph Nader proposed that the U.S. mass media system be reformed in the following way:

"To give the audience access to the airwaves that it already owns, the [Democratic] Clinton administration should support the establishment of a new broadcast vehicle, the Audience Network. This national, nonprofit, non-partisan membership organization would be granted one hour of prime-time television and one hour of drive-time radio on every commercial channel each day. It would function as a separate licensee, airing diverse programming shaped by the membership. It would be open to all citizens over age sixteen for a nominal fee, such as $10 annually, and be democratically controlled. Finally, Audience Network would represent consumer interests before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Congress and the courts. This would redress the longstanding disenfranchisement that millions of viewers and listeners have suffered under the current regulatory regime.

"Audience Network and its professional staff would be managed by persons accountable to the membership through a direct elective process...Major abuses that are not publicized for years by the commercial media would receive more prompt attention free of the constraints of corporate advertisers.

"Over time, Audience Neetwork would gradually transform a powerless, voiceless audience, which has been conditioned to accept a debased regime of programming, into an active audience with the ability to initiate new, innovative, and consequential programming..."

(Downtown 1/24/96)

No comments: