Making Media. Creating the Conditions for Communication in the Public Good (2005)

Speaker: Marc Raboy

Speaker: Marc Raboy

Where have the media come in the past ten years? Where are they headed?

Conventional forms, such as the newspaper, over-the-air radio and television, are increasingly called into question while new wireless or Internet-based media are hailed as the waves of the future. What does this mean for the public good? Can we still speak of a public sphere, given rising levels of concentration of private media ownership, declining levels of public-funding, security-based attacks on independent and community media, increasing disparities between rich and poor, old and young, north and south and the various digital and other divides that characterize global society. Can we still speak of public service? Can we still speak of ‘the public’?

This lecture responds a resounding Yes and argues that the contemporary media in all their guises support and sustain an unprecedented platform for communication and public discussion – for those who are able to participate. The challenge is therefore to create an enabling environment in which media can flourish. Doing this is the domain of public policy. The media policy framework and the possibilities that it provides is terribly misunderstood. Like other areas of democratic public life, media regulation can be hijacked, perverted, abused and subjected to scandal. That doesn’t mean it should be cast aside.

Using a range of historical and contemporary issues and examples, the 2005 Spry Memorial Lecture will explore this fundamental question: how can people and their public institutions create the conditions that enable media and communication technologies to serve the public good?

Transcript : Making Media. Creating the Conditions for Communication in the Public Good (2005)