An essay by Rob Paterson, writing about the Centre for Social Innovation in Toronto, evolves into an excellent statement about the importance of public media:
... The context for the future of Public Radio is not merely technology but society. Many I have talked to have told me that they see that America has been drifting from its roots of civic community, independence and tolerance. They note that the market and the trivial, that dogma and posturing rather than the "can-do" and the "self-sufficient" are at the forefront of much of American life today. ¶ Kennedy's call for service is all but forgotten as many either grab what they can or give up. ¶ In this context of social breakdown and inertia, it is becoming clear to me, and to many that I have talked to, that Public Radio is the last bastion of the "Voice" of civic discourse. As America's mainstream has lurched to the trivial and to dogma, Public Radio's audience has doubled to 30 million in the last 10 years. There is underneath this breakdown, a yearning for the real and the true. Public Radio has become the redoubt where Jeffersonian values and the idea of public service remain alive. ...
Link: Robert Paterson's Weblog. Don't miss this one if you're a public broadcasting professional or user.
In a comment below, Rob adds a link to a reinforcing article by Fred
Paul Jacobs. It deserves its own post, which I'll do immediately above this one. See Not A Secret Anymore. --Dennis