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Conclusion to Part One_PhD_Terry Flew

Conclusion to Part One_PhD_Terry Flew

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Published by Terry Flew

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Published by: Terry Flew on Jul 22, 2009
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05/11/2014

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Conclusion to Part One
Part One of this thesis has analysed the relationship between culture and policy inthree ways. First, it has sought to establish a relationship between culture and policy, not at an abstract or ahistorical level, but as a tangible outcome of themanagement of Australian commercial broadcasting by state regulatoryinstitutions towards goals such as the promotion of national citizenship andnational culture. Second, the institutional field of Australian broadcasting is seenas a dense and complex one, where policy directions are promoted in the contextof a policy system characterised by concentration of ownership, the ‘soft property’status attached to broadcast licences, and a policy culture where dominantinterests - most notably the commercial broadcast licensees - have possessed thecapacity to declare important aspects of their operations ‘off limits’ to regulatoryauthorities. Regulations to govern the conduct of commercial broadcasting havethus tended to operate by indirect means, and to imply a regulatory
quid prop quo
 between the monopoly profits of the industry and the achievement of citizenshipgoals and cultural policy objectives. Finally, the likelihood of academic criticismachieving influence over policy outcomes is connected to the capacity to translatecritical discourses into the language of policy communities, and to link up withforms of policy activism developed through personal and institutional networks of activists, industry groups, unions, community groups and bureaucrats.146
 
Citizenship provides an important link between media as culture and thedevelopment of institutional regulatory forms and policy frameworks. The paradox of citizenship in liberal democracies, where free subjects are required toconsent to their institutional governance as populations, means that there is anongoing tension between rule through expertise and popular sovereignty. This isconnected to an ongoing debate about the extent to which ‘active citizenship’should be promoted, where citizens actively participate in the institutionalstructures of governance. The question of national citizenship, and its relationshipto national culture, is also an important animator of media policy. In internationalterms, Australian television has been among the most open to imported programming in the world, and the development of cultural nationalist media policies does not precede media globalisation; rather, the two competing problematics have coexisted from the inception of television in Australia in 1956.This makes Australia a particularly interesting case study in thedevelopment of forms of cultural policy that aim to maintain discourses of national citizenship in the context of media globalisation, as it has always been acentral question of Australian broadcast media policy. It has also given adistinctive complexion to the ways in which the relationship between culture and policy is addressed in the context of Australian media and cultural studies. It isapparent that the ‘policy turn’ in Australian media and cultural studies arose partlyout of the need to better translate the concerns of intellectuals and cultural criticsto decision-making processes in social and cultural institutions, but also out of a147

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