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Conclusion_PhD_Terry Flew

Conclusion_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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Chapter EightConclusion
In this thesis, I have demonstrated three propositions. First, it is necessity tounderstand the institutional and policy frameworks through which creative andcultural practice occurs. In this thesis, I have been particularly interested in therelationship between collective forms of political agency and institutionalstructures of government and the corporate sector. I have also argued thatapplication of such a problematic to the media introduces issues that did notsufficiently register in debates such as those surrounding cultural policy studies inAustralia in the 1990s. One of these has been the particular nature of privatelyowned broadcast media as a form of ‘soft property’, and the resulting ambiguitiesof government regulation. The thesis has also addressed the emergence of distinctive institutional frameworks and policy settlements in national broadcasting systems, such as the ‘social contract’ in Australian broadcasting, thathas connected privileged access to the airwaves to ‘pro-social’ policy obligationssuch as those around Australian content. The thesis has also analysed theimplications of broadcast communications being potentially borderless, rather than based within nation-states. Media policy concerning broadcast programcontent has often constituted a form of ‘communicative boundary maintenance’, particularly in countries such as Australia that are especially open to content fromthe United States as the world’s principal audiovisual exporter.84
The second proposition that I have demonstrated in this thesis has been theongoing significance of citizenship discourses to Australian broadcast media policy. It was argued in Chapter One that citizenship discourses emerged out of the ‘public trust’ aspects of spectrum ownership, as well as the public nature of communications using broadcast media and their impact upon the formation of national and cultural identities. It was stressed that citizenship concerns were notexclusively associated with public broadcasting, but arose from both the publicnature of communications undertaken by commercial media, and the ways inwhich regulatory and policy actions to shape the conduct of commercial broadcasters were legitimised, on the basis of their private appropriation of a public resource. Citizenship discourse possesses two parallel elements: a politicalelement that stresses the right of public participation in decisions affecting thelives of citizens in a democratic society; and a national element that concerns therole played by cultural technologies and institutions in the ‘nationingof  populations. Both aspects of citizenship discourse possess significant areas of tension and contradiction. In the case of political citizenship in liberaldemocracies, it is apparent that the freedom of citizens has been premised upontheir governance as populations through what Michel Foucault refers to as the process of 
. Such processes create issues about the legitimacy of governmental authority, or what has variously been termed the ‘participation gap’or the ‘democratic deficit’. In terms of national citizenship, broadcast media promote the uncoupling of space and time in communications, and an orientation85

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