Global Broadcasting Systems Essay, Research Paper
This book is about the global broadcasting systems. The Preface says that things are changing so fast that the book will probably be outdated by the time we read it. On the other hand, it does provide a clear picture of television and other media around the world, at the moment in time when the authors did their research. The writers got help from their colleagues, as well as questions and comments by students, in order to put the book together in its final form. It has seven chapters, a Glossary, a list of Further Reading, and an index. Each chapter discusses one aspect of global broadcasting. Chapter One is titled “The World Telecommunications Revolution.” The empowerment of consumers is changing the way global telecommunications works, even though this is not the aim of the media distributors. Many professionals in the field “believe that the future is a multimedia retrieval system for everyone” (p. 1). World communications systems can make it possible to get any almost television show in the world, from almost anywhere in the world. Different cultures might require different types of programming around the world. On the other hand, shows like CNN have made the formats of programs uniform around the world. Will we have diversity, or uniformity, in the future? Chapter Two is titled “World Systems Overview.” There are hundreds of millions of television sets and radios all over the world. Countries like the US, Canada, and England have sophisticated broadcast systems. Developing countries like those in Central and South America do not. Some countries have private broadcasters, and others have government broadcasters. Some countries have a mix of both private and government ownership. Chapter Three is titled “Control and Regulation of World Systems.” The variety of control, from complete government control of broadcasting systems to total privatization of ownership, depends on the form of government in each country. The US has private ownership, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates broadcasting. Canada has government broadcasting by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC), but they also have private ownership because they want diversity in programming. In Cuba the government has control over all stations.
Chapter Four is titled “Financing Global Electronic Media.” The source of funds for broadcasting could be government subsidy, private advertising, or donations by the viewing public. Most of the broadcasting in the US is supported by advertising. The Canadian government supports the CBC because they believe that it is important for the growth of national culture and education. In South America, much of the broadcasting depends on the support of the party in power in the government. Chapter Five is titled “Broadcast Programming Worldwide.” Programming represents the bottom line in broadcasting. With commercial broadcasting, the financial support of the advertisers depends on the number of viewers watching the program. This is the use of rating points. For public broadcasting companies, the determination of programming is usually based on educational, social or political goals.
Chapter Six is titled “Freedom and World Broadcasting.” Freedom of information is an important issue in the world. Many governments put strict limits on what the public is allowed to know. For example, China uses the media to support the government’s economic and political goals. Some countries, such as in the Middle East, use censorship to keep objectionable material out of their country. Chapter Seven is titled “External Services and Organizations.” External services in radio are mostly government-funded and operated short wave radio stations. There are also some religious organizations. These stations will broadcast their own point of view to other countries around the world. For example, the US has the Voice of America to enhance the image of the US in other countries.
This book has much useful information, and it is organized to make it easy to find. The index is also helpful for finding specific information. The comparison of different countries around the world gives students a basis for comparison. It also explains why certain programs are selected for broadcasting to certain parts of the world. All the basic concepts of broadcasting are explained in terms of examples from the real world. In addition, some of the advanced concepts are made easy to understand. The processes of funding, programming, and choice of media are outlined and examples are given. The major countries of the world are discussed, and the book explains how their social, political and economic systems influence the broadcasting in their countries. It also explains how broadcasting is regulated and controlled, as well as why it is regulated and controlled. Thus, a student can gain a clear understanding of broadcasting as a system, and of different systems in different parts of the world.
The book is interesting, as well as informative. The graphs, charts and illustrations are helpful in understanding much of the information. The language is simple, clear, and easy to understand. The book is well written, and it is useful for students of broadcasting. It will remind students of the basic concepts that they need to know, and it will also help to broaden their understanding of broadcast communications. I recommend that all students taking communication 426 should read it, for the reason that it has all the materials and topics presented in this course.