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Are National Television Systems Obsolete?

Emerging digital and satellite technologies are transforming the world’s experience of television. News and information channels such as CNN and al-Jazeera reach audiences across national and regional boundaries. Entertainment formats, programming, films, and popular music are being produced with an…
November 1, 2003

Emerging digital and satellite technologies are transforming the world’s experience of television. News and information channels such as CNN and al-Jazeera reach audiences across national and regional boundaries. Entertainment formats, programming, films, and popular music are being produced with an eye towards this global market place rather than tailoring to national tastes and interests. Historically, the dominance of government funding networks in many parts of the world preserved a focus on local and national culture, but increasingly, these networks are competing with commercial channels and satellite television.

These issues were the central focus of a conversation last Thursday between three leading media scholars – Elihu Katz, communications professor at the University of Pennsylvania and author of Media Events: The Live Broadcasting of History; James Carey, CBS professor of International Journalism at Columbia University in New York; and William Uricchio, MIT comparative media studies professor.

The event was hosted by the MIT Communications Forum, which has now posted an audiocast.

The MIT Communications Forum site is a rich resource for those interested in contemporary issues in communications policy and media culture. Available audiocasts of other recent events center on the contemporary state of television drama, media coverage of the Gulf War, the impact of copyright on cultural production, transformations of the book, and religion and the Internet.

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"It was in the newspaper, but the towers fell the next day, and what I’d done was quickly lost."

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