This table summarizing the shift of assumptions from public broadcasting's "first generation" to its second was prepared by James Fellows, president of the Hartford Gunn Institute, a think tank serving the field.
|Public purpose||High-quality alternative
program service that complements commercial stations, serving educational,
cultural and citizenship needs they do not adequately meet.
||Accomplishment of community's important educational, cultural, citizenship and economic goals through various means.|
|Operating framework and technology||Single-channel competitive
broadcasting based on model of commercial broadcasting.
||Multiple-channel, multiple-technology teleplex based on collaborating institutions, offering wider choice to users, including computer resources.|
|Target audience||Viewers and listeners, often
categorized by demographics.
||Individuals as students, parents, citizens, players in economy, people with distinct needs and interests.|
|Programming||Cultural performance, public
affairs, discussion, documentary, how-to, classroom instruction, preschool
||All current genres plus increased emphasis on cultural diversity, community service, lifelong learning, public discourse.|
|National program mechanisms||In public TV, Fourth Network
model with common carriage of single National Program Service. Program
decisions driven by producers and distributors.
||Multiple schedules marketed as package for all outlets in area, including special-interest channels, computer-based resources.|
|Education||Service to schools designed
largely to support teachers.
||In multiple partnerships with public/private education, service increasingly designed to support students directly.|
|Governance of origination and distribution capacity||Owned and operated by broadcast
||Cooperative ownership and/or leased use of facilities.|
|Sources of support||State and federal appropriations
(seen as subsidies), voluntary personal donations, corporate and foundation
grants, underwriting, payments for ancillary services.
||All current sources plus increased payment for services by individuals and institutions. Taxpayer support is fee for service, not subsidy.|
Source: adapted from a report by James Fellows for
the Gunn Institute and Central Educational Network's TelePlex Management Center.
Fellows is chairman of the Current Publishing Committee.
Web page originally posted March 31, 1997
Current: the newspaper about public TV and radio
in the United States
Current Publishing Committee, Takoma Park, Md.