Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Goals of the Group

1. The general goal of this Advanced Research Group is to analyze the social, political and economic consequences of the current reforms in the audiovisual sectors in the main European countries (Spain, Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy) in the process of construction of the EC, paying attention to the fundamental values of equality and pluralism. The tendencies detected in these reforms indicate an increasing process of normative deregulation to deregulate the audiovisual market and to boost productivity, capital investment, and technological innovation. The deadline for these reforms will be the year 2010, when the analogical television will end in the EU and the total digitalization will start. One of the possible consequences of the progressive deregulation could be the disbanding of the European public televisions.

2. The second goal of this research will be to analyze the current model of the audiovisual sector in the United States, particularly the role given to the public television as a service of public interest, since in 1967 the Carnegie Commission (in which an old President of Harvard University, James B. Conant, participated) drafted a report that suggested to create a public service of radio and television for those people who could not have it in some other ways, and to support actively the cultural diversity in USA. The group will also study the level of responsibility assumed by the private media in defence of the rights of consumers and the constitutional values. For this reason, it will be very useful the analysis of regulation carried out from the competent organs (the anti-trust legislation, the rules that limit the concentration of media and the methods of license renewal for broadcasting) in order to preserve pluralism, the freedom of the press and the access of minorities.

3. The third goal is the one referred to the influence and impact that the contents of the American mass media industry have on the making of the public opinion, the civic education in democratic values and citizenship. We will analyze the construction of implicit messages in the products of both sides of the Atlantic in connection with the liberalizing process supported by the legislative and economic reforms in progress. We will carry out an analysis of the emergent tendencies in educative applications and social integration of minorities through the mass media with the arrival of digital and interactive technologies.

4. Finally, this research group will bear the criteria, recommendations and decisions of the I and II Carnegie Committees in 1966 and 1967 in mind, supported by the Carnegie Foundation of New York, to create the PBS. The aim of these committees was to clarify the advisability or not of a television public service able to carry out an educative function, and unify/unite citizenship participation in the political decision-taking. This group will try to analyse if the troubles that that committee had then still persist and if the scene has changed so much that his decisions and recommendations are not valid any more in the present media scene or, if, on the contrary, they are still relevant. This analysis would be compared to the governmental and independent initiatives, similar to the Carnegie Committees developed in Spain and UK during 2004 and 2005 and that tried to define what the television public service is and the role this service must perform in the development of society.