Subject: Music, Visual Arts and Film Studies
Language: English (U.S.)
Pages: 1
Is public television just about non-commercial television? What kind of programs and subjects does public television offer that commercial news media don't, according to Kevin Smith-Fagan?

Public Television

           Public television is more than just about non-commercial broadcasting. The concept of public television gives the local members of the public the means and the opportunities to create content suitable for them and to televise said content to a mass audience within the locality. The main aim of public television is public service by creating content that is educational and informative for the public within a certain jurisdiction. Public television is a major means of uplifting communities.

           Public television offers programs that serve the needs of the minority or the disenfranchised in the local community. Such programs are targeted towards empowering the members of the marginalized segments of the audience. They also educate the rest of the audience about the unique strengths and challenges of those in the disenfranchised communities.

           Unlike public television, commercial television programs tend to shy away from addressing the programming needs of the minority in the country. They specifically cater to the needs of the majority in order to raise their ratings. Commercial television stations also fear creating controversial material further disenfranchising viewers.

           Commercial television tailors its programs to suit the preferences of a national audience. Programs with the highest ratings nationally are aired while those with poor ratings countrywide are disregarded. Public television programs cater to the needs of local communities. The programs in such stations are built around the interests and needs of a local demographic.

           Another huge difference between the programs offered on commercial and public television is the content of the programs. Public television programs are designed to educate, empower, inform, and entertain the audience. The programs are unique and of high quality due to the lack of insistence on attracting payment from advertisers. On the other hand, commercial programs are tailored to attract the attention of many viewers so that the commercial station gets more advertisers. Thus, the programming in such stations is rarely unique and is often of poor quality and taste.