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Title:Promoting the Idea of Broadcast Deregulation: An Alternative View of the Distribution of Power in the Communications Policy-Making Process
Author(s):Brown, Duncan Horner
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rowland, Willard D., Jr.
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Political Science, Public Administration
Mass Communications
Abstract:Conventional accounts of the communications policy-making process in the United States tend to focus on the struggles over proposed changes to specific regulations. They give us blow-by-blow descriptions of the activities of the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, the courts, the White House, and various regulated industries. But they rarely offer any explanation of the mechanisms by which the policy agenda is set and the range of available policy options is defined. The work reported here asks why conventional accounts pay so little attention to these processes and argues that a better understanding of the distribution of power in the communications policy-making system will result if we include in our analysis the activities of organizations which tend to shape the terms of the policy debate.
Part One describes the main characteristics of conventional accounts and why they are a consequence of the thinking which underpins them. However, the picture of the communications policy-making process produced by this "restricted view" is criticized because of its narrow focus and a broader "extended view" is developed.
In Part Two a comparison is made of restricted and extended views of the period, from the mid-1960s to the latter half of the 1970s, which preceded attempts by Congress to rewrite the 1934 Communications Act. The addition of the extended view focuses more attention on the activities of various foundations and policy-research organizations, and reveals some of the ways they may have influenced the communications policy debate during this period.
The final section considers the implications of these previously under-reported processes for the shape of the communications policy debate. Explaining why the organizations active in them will tend to promote a relatively narrow range of viewpoints, it concludes that individual, university-based, communications scholars, working mostly outside the communications policy-making community are best placed to counter this tendency towards a narrowing of the debate.
Issue Date:1988
Description:244 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908631
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-05-13
Date Deposited:1988

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