In the Name of What?
This chapter looks at the motives for developing and maintaining the regulatory structures and considers what role they have to play in the very different future into which broadcasting is moving, no longer constrained by the shortage of frequencies marking its first eighty years. By taking the commercial path in developing broadcasting in the United States, however, the ideal was inevitably compromised by the needs of individual companies. As with the demands for public service programmes placed on Britain's television licensees, much depends on the continuing financial buoyancy of the broadcasting sector and the willingness of commercial interests to accept the trade-off which such obligations represent. The substance of regulation, therefore, plays a crucial part in the evolution of a climate in which, as an essential ingredient in a responsible broadcasting service, conventional standards, whether of decency, taste, or other things, may be challenged as well as protected.
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