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Policy provisions for public access to television : democratic and educational implications in Canada.. Arafeh, Sousan 1992-09-15

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POLICY PROVISIONS FOR PUBLIC ACCESS TO TELEVISION:democratic and educational implicationsin Canada and the United StatesbySOUSAN ARAFEHB.A., Hampshire College, 1983A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES(Social and Educational Studies)We accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIAJune 1992© Sousan Arafeh, 1992In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of ^tiitivl fduu1nwl )46 The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate 1(i k5 1112DE-6 (2/88)Supervisor: Dr. Kogila Adam-Moodley^ iiABSTRACTThis thesis examines broadcast policies and policydocuments in Canada and the United States to determine whetherand to what degree they make provision for the public's accessto television. Government policies and policy documents areexamined at the federal and local level, and a case study of twocable systems, one in Vancouver, B.C. the other in Seattle,Washington, supplies empirical data to corroborate how policyprovisions for public access to television are interpreted andimplemented.A neo-Gramscian concept of ideological hegemony broadlyframes this study of the impact of public policy, specificallybroadcast policy, on social structure and behaviour.Because a very small portion of the general population haveaccess to television production and programming, they dominatethe television discourse. Research that documents television'spervasive stereotypic and derogatory treatment of women and"racial"/ethnic "minorities" 1 as well as its perceived effectof contributing to the social and economic subordination ofthese populations in North American society is used as a basisfor this study. This thesis argues that broadening the body ofpeople who have access to the television production andprogramming process might encourage more accurate, positiveand/or relevant television images and relations with positive1 These are populations not normally represented in the ranksof the business/artistic elite.illsocial consequences. On one level, this is a matter of havingbroadcast policies which ensure such broadened access.Canada and the United States each have policy provisionsfor the general public's access to television which are based onnotions of civic democratic participation in society. Analysisand comparison of these policies results in the conclusion thatalthough both countries provide access to the public throughpolicy, many of these provisions limit access in four areas:access to production, access to distribution, access to input,and access to viewing. Because television access policies limitthe public's access increasingly, the broadening of the accessbase is impeded along with the challenge to the currentstructure, message and function of television. On this account,traditional agendas and images continue to dominate the airwavesand their educational power.Further study should be undertaken on: 1) the effects oftelevision, 2) the public's use of community television/publicaccess television, 3) the effects of community channels onviewers and whether they are different than the effects ofbroadcast television and 4) the effects of broadcast policy onthe structure and function of television.TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT^ iiTABLE OF CONTENTS^ ivLIST OF FIGURES viACKNOWLEDGEMENTS^ viiINTRODUCTION 1Significance of the Problem^ 3Treatment the Problem^ 6CHAPTER TWO -- The Concepts and the Players ^18Public Expression and Participation 18Hegemony and Ideology^ 20What is Public Access Television and Who isthe Public?^ 27Who or What are the Television/CommunicationMedia? 30Who or What is the State?^ 37Policy as the Articulation of State-DefinedPolitical, Cultural, Social and EconomicObjectives^ 46CHAPTER THREE -- The North American Context ^52Television Representation^ 55Television Effects^ 67Television's Productive Power as Education ^76Broadcast Alternatives 84Public Access Television^ 89CHAPTER FOUR -- The Canadian Context^ 95Policies Governing Public Access to Television^95Canada's Broadcast History and Public Access 99Foundations and Ideology of Public Access ^104Current Public Access Provisions^ 109Cable System Policies and Public Access --The Case of Vancouver^ 117Provisional and Procedural Limits to Access ^127ivvTABLE OF CONTENTS con't.CHAPTER FIVE -- The United States' Context ^151United States' Broadcast History and PublicAccess^ 151Fairness Doctrine^ 155Foundations, Ideology and Current Provisions forPublic Access^ 158Current Public Access Provisions^161Cable System Policies and Public Access --The Case of Seattle^ 171Provisional and Procedural Limits to Access^182CHAPTER SIX -- Conclusion 195Similarities and Differences in AccessLimitations^ 195Tradition in Policy and Practice^ 202REFERENCES^ 220LIST OF FIGURESFigure 1 Hierarchy of Communications Industry 32Figure 2 Hierarchy of Current Policies and PolicyDocuments Regarding Public AccessProvisions in Canada and the UnitedStates 97Figure 3 Content Analysis of Rogers VancouverCommunity Channel Schedule 117Figure 4 Depiction of Rogers Cable Network 149Figure 5 Depiction of Greater Seattle's Cable System 174vivi iACKNOWLEDGEMENTSMy thanks to Kogila Adam-Moodley, Gillian Creese, andCharles Ungerleider for their excellence, and support, as acommittee.Thanks also to Susan Alexander, Deborah Angrave, Tony Chan,Jerry Fernandez, John Giamberso, Bob Hackett, Diedre Kelly,Steve Klein, Richard Labunsky, Deborah Lewis, Parker Lindner,Mark Lofson, Rowland Lorimer, Patricia Manley, Catherine Murray,Gertrude Robinson, Leslie Roman, Scott Scowcroft, Martin Truax,Harriet Walden, Wendy Wickwire and Tannis MacBeth Williams forphone calls, meetings, interviews, readings and words of wisdom.In particular, however, I would like to thank thefoundations from which my work is made critical, and possible:family and friends. They know who they are.1INTRODUCTIONThe mass communications gatekeeper ought to becomea gate-opener and a catalyst for the process in whichmass communication is reunited with Grassroots discussion(Manca, 1989:1972-3).In keeping with their liberal democratic traditions, Canadaand the United States have each made provision for publicparticipation and expression through the medium of television.In both countries, members of the general public may go to thelocal cable station, train on video equipment, use the station'scommunity production facilities and have their televisionprogram "aired" on the cable community channel -- pro bono.Such provisions are set out in the policies and regulationsgoverning cable television.This thesis describes and critically analyzes thosespecific cable policies that provide for public access totelevision in Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle, Washington. It alsooutlines how those policies are interpreted and implemented bythe cable licensees/franchisees that serve each city. Theinformation illustrates the shape and function of each publicaccess system as well as the historical and ideological premisesupon which each system is built. The critical analyses of theprovisions' interpretations and applications indicate whetherthey tend to limit or promote the public's access to television.More specifically, the analysis demonstrates the implications ofthese provisions and how policy and institutions work togetherpolitically and ideologically, often to the detriment and2disfranchisement of the general public. Whether one country'spolicies and/or implementing institutions are potentially moreopen to the public than the other's is also considered.The central argument of this thesis is that although Canadaand the United States have entrenched the public's access totelevision production and programming through policy provisions,the policies, and the way they are implemented, limit thisaccess considerably.This argument is premised on the notion that television hasproductive power -- educative and socializing effects. This isdemonstrated using the case of broadcast televisionrepresentation of women and "racial" and ethnic "minorities" andresearch on effects of such representations on viewers. It isargued that the discourse of television is often an elite andinaccurate representation of these groups and individuals; onewhich could be challenged through increased public participationin the television media. However, investigation of thispossibility shows that the public has little or no access tobroadcast media -- public access to cable community televisionis the only means by which the public may use televisionproduction and programming facilities at a reasonable cost.This thesis explores what provisions for public access totelevision have been made to date and to what extent theyfurther limit or encourage public participation in television.Significance of the ProblemResearch has shown that television has significant3educative and socializing power. 2 For example, commercialtelevision portrayals of women, "racial" and ethnic"minorities", the aged, etc. tend to under-represent andmisrepresent these groups and individuals -- representationsthat do have effects upon the viewing public and can encouragediscrimination and inequitable relations. The governments ofCanada and the United States support equality and respect fordiversity both in law and rhetoric. In light of this,mechanisms which encourage reproduction of inequitable relations, such as unrepresentative television and policieswhich entrench the medium's status quo, must be understood andanalyzed. Public access to television does encouragegrass-roots communication and an opportunity for members of thepublic-at-large to challenge current portrayals and structuresof commercial television and the communications systemgenerally.If television is as pervasive an educative, socializing,democratizing yet elite force as Kellner (1990), Jackson et al.(1986), van Dijk (1987a), Graber (1989) and others contend, thenthis alone seems an adequate argument for provisions which wouldincrease the public's access to television. Public televisionaccess would in no way ensure that the resultant programmingwould or would not significantly alter the educative yet oftimesderogatory discourses of mainstream television. However, itmight offer and increase in the diversity of programming on2 This will be discussed in depth in Chapter Three.4television which is dominated by elite "culture industries"whose representations and reflections of North American culturehave been shown by the research to be fairly limited.There is the argument that increased public access totelevision production and programming would be disastrous forvirtually everyone except the community producer and his/hercrew. On this account, 1) programs' conceptual, technical andartistic components would lack professional quality andexpertise, 2) viewers would be disappointed with the amateurnature of the programs and would be disinclined to view them,and 3) broadcast stations airing such material would lose theincreased advertising revenue that professional programmingwould generate. Arguments like these justify denying the publicaccess to, and expression through, television on the ba)n ofbelief in the primacy of economic profit and professionalexpertise. This perspective has been accepted by many NorthAmericans who find that television is outside their personalproductive sphere. It is a medium watched and listened to; notone for personal expression. People have internalized themedium's structure and function through the visual and auraltext of its programming. Many have come to expect and trust,somehow, its slick and stylized (re)presentations of the worldso that now minimally produced programming looks "amateur","unfinished" and "awful". Now, only certain types of programsare worthwhile and only certain characters are watchable --sentiments that have been promoted, subtly, by the television5medium and the discourses surrounding it. Such a view oftelevision belittles low-technology, diversity in artistic andtechnical composition, and those members of society who arelimited to, or who strive for, these alternatives. Any publicaccess to television, no matter how limited, challenges thetraditional ideology and discourses of television as the realmof the "professional" to some degree.The manner in which citizen participation is limiteddepends greatly upon the historical andideological/philosophical foundations of the policies whichgovern the nation in general and its state, civil society andbusiness institutions in particular. One way that the publicmay become more aware of the role of television and publicpolicy in society is to expose instances where these engage inor encourage inequitable relations. Policy that limits thepublic's access to television also limits the public's access toa technology that affords the most pervasive discourse in NorthAmerican society to date (Montgomery, 1989; Goldberg, 1990;Kellner, 1990). Without access to television, it also limitsthe public's access to the coalition-building potential of themedium. Public-generated images and discourse may or may not beany better than what is currently available on television,however, in a liberal democracy with cultural policies thatrhetorically promote participation such as multiculturalism andpublic access, citizens should be able to make government andindustry responsible for implementing the policies in good6faith.^Further investigation of public access provisionsthrough policy and more research on the reach and content ofcommunity channels should be undertaken in the future.Treatment of the Problem In framing this research problem, four fundamentalassumptions are made. The first assumption is that the currentstructure of communications technologies, systems and personnelis not "given" or unalterable. Rather, the structure andfunctions of broadcasting, cablecasting and public accesstelevision can and may be changed in fundamental ways throughpolicy decisions. Although some scholars and practitioners dotake this stance, they are not in the main (Goldberg, 1990;Kellner, 1990; Montgomery, 1989; Nader and Riley, 1988;Labunski, 1989). The second assumption is that the public'saccess to television should not necessarily be limited to onlylocal production and distribution. This is currently the caseand there has been no academic inquiry into why public accesshas been shaped in this way. Third, the assumption is made thattelevision has educative and socializing properties. Thus, theeducational potential and effect of communications systems suchas television should be a primary consideration in analyses ofcommunications policies, structures and technologies. Andfinally, because the educative nature of television is usefulfor both cultural and economic ends, it is assumed that accessto television programming and production is a site of economic,cultural and ideological struggle. These assumptions are not7new to the field of communications or policy-making. However,they highlight the importance of determining the historicalfoundations, current provisions and actual and possible effectsof government access policies on the public's access totelevision. These are the issues that this research addresses.Initially, "public access television" or "communitytelevision" looks the same in both countries. Federal ormunicipal governments develop policy and provisions whichrequire cable licensees to provide production and programmingfacilities, staff, training and funding for the use of thegeneral public. Although community television has the samegeneral shape in Canada and the United States, the policieswhich provide for it, and perhaps the functions, aresignificantly different. Canada makes provision at the federallevel by requiring that all cable stations serving 2000+subscribers offer community television production andprogramming opportunities. In the United States, the federalgovernment takes no responsibility for public access. Rather,municipalities are vested with discretionary power to requirecable stations to offer public access as a condition of theirfranchise agreement.While the public has access to community television in eachcountry, the current provisions limit its access in four ways:1) to the actual production and programming process, 2) to input into the development of policies governing community television,3) to the distribution of community programming, and 4) to the8viewing of the community channel itself. Finally, the public islimited by the ideological premises of public access policieswhich entrench community television as a local phenomenon thatshould be administered by a private industry.The scholarship on public access television is sparse. Thelate 1960s and early 1970s saw a short spate of activityadvocating community television as the popular medium of thefuture, documenting successful community television outlets anduses, and explaining the technical equipment, terminology andconcepts involved in program production. After a twenty yearhiatus, public access is on the verge of a significantcome-back. Recent scholarly and popular attention has beendevoted, again, to the democratic potential of the medium.However, there has been very little critical discussion of theactual government policies and provisions for communitytelevision, how these are interpreted and implemented at thelocal level, and whether government and cable corporatepolicies, as a whole, shape public access in a way that is openand encouraging or closed and limiting. This thesis proposes toshed some light on these matters.A comparative approach is justified by the presence ofexcellent comparative criteria. First, Canada and the UnitedStates have many similarities. Both are "first world",industrialized, liberal democracies which share the NorthAmerican continent and a certain North American culture eventhough their histories and ideological orientations are9significantly different. The communications systems of bothcountries are comparable in their technical sophistication, the"arms length" status of their regulatory bodies, and the degreeto which private interests have control and influence over thetelevision industry. Both have made provisions for publicaccess to television which, on the surface, look remarkablysimilar.Second, there are sufficient differences to make acomparison interesting and useful. For example, Canada requirespublic access through a federal provision. But in the U.S., ifpublic access is required at all, it is done through provisionsat the local level. Canada holds cable stations responsible forthe content of programs they cablecast while U.S. cable stationsare neither responsible for community program content norallowed to exercise editorial or censorial judgement. Canada'scommunications policies are based on a long history of culturalregulation while those of the United States are based more onmarket forces. Other differences between the countries'provisions, their potential for facilitating or limiting accessand the implications of these provisions will be furtherdiscussed in subsequent sections.Because public access is a municipally regulated phenomenonin the United States, municipal public access systems areappropriate units of analyses. The municipalities of Vancouver,B.C. and Seattle, Washington provide an excellent basis forcomparison. While Seattle is larger than Vancouver by roughly1085,000 residents, both cities have a diverse population base andoccupy a similar geographic area -- 200 kilometres apart on thePacific Northwest coast of North America. Rogers Cable, thecommunity television provider for the municipality of Vancouver,has divided the city into three distinct areas. These are eachserved by a neighbourhood production and programming facility,and programming is pooled for cablecasting through the Vancouverstudio, a more sophisticated facility, at which communitymembers may also produce programs. Seattle is similarly dividedinto three different geographic areas. Unlike Vancouver, eacharea is served and provided production facilities by separatelyowned cable franchisees. Programming, however, is pooled andcablecast on one channel that all three stations share. Thebases for comparison are clearly evident.By taking this comparative approach to the questions "whatare the actual government policies and provisions for communitytelevision?", "how are these interpreted and implemented at thestation level?", and "do these government and station policies,as a whole, shape public access in a way that is open andencouraging to the public or closed and limiting?", this thesishighlights the specific arguments and techniques used by one orboth countries to facilitate or limit access. Information aboutthese arguments and techniques will be useful to government, thetelevision industries and the general public. It can be used toinform future inquiry about policy effects on the public'saccess to television, as well as discussion about the shape1 1public access might, could, or should take in the future.This thesis does not consider the actual effects of publicaccess provisions in Vancouver and Seattle. Such informationwould certainly be useful and is important in determiningwhether public access provisions are, in fact, providingadequate and fair television access to the groups andindividuals who seek it, or whether public access televisiondoes provide more diverse programming than industry programming.However, it is not within the purview of this study. Nor is itthe purpose of this thesis to focus on the argument that thepublic should or should not have access to television. It istaken as given that the public should have access because bothcountries already provide for access. 3 Rather, this researchuncovers and analyzes the potential access-giving properties ofcurrent public access policies and practices in order to developmore accurate criteria by which the efficacy of public accessprovisions can be determined in the future.The methodological approach to this study of public accessprovisions in communications policy is interdisciplinary. Byblending ideas and techniques from sociology, communications,education and law some of the obfuscations of disciplinaryboundaries are removed. Also, by integrating the conventionsfrom these disciplines, new and different ways of looking at theissues at hand are developed. For example, while communicationsscholars might find public access issues of little consequence3 This will be discussed in more depth in following chapters.12in light of rapidly developing technologies with broader reach,from a legal or educational perspective questions of publicparticipation can be of great interest.In keeping with the interdisciplinary intent of theresearch, a combination of strategies was used in theinvestigation: 1) comparative historical analysis of government,cable station and trade organization policy documents, 2)informal interviews with representatives from regulatory bodies,trade organizations, and local cable stations, 3) contentanalyses of cable programming schedules and journal indices, and4) analysis and synthesis of pertinent current literature froma variety of disciplines. Because this thesis is less concernedwith the policy-making process than it is with whether theactual policies themselves make provisions for public access totelevision, formal policy studies have not informed the inquiryin great measure. The result is a critical, documentaryanalysis of policies and policy statements regarding publicaccess to television. This analysis is supported by scholarshipfrom the disciplines of communications, "race" and ethnicrelations, women's studies, law, and education.There are three key entities which figure prominently inthe public access process: the state (federal and municipalgovernments), the television/communications industry, andcitizens. 4 A neo-Gramscian concept of hegemony frames this4 'Citizens is used throughout this paper to refer to thegeneral public -- that collective entity toward which policy andits language is directed and intended.13investigation of the impact of government televisioncommunications policy on social structure and behaviour.Specifically, it underpins this research's focus on the waylanguage and regulation through policy is used to encourage ordiscourage forms of public access. It also provides the basisfor considering the educational and ideological impact oftelevision discourses and access to this medium as access topower.Antonio Gramsci's social theory priorizes the agency andautonomy individuals have in promoting or resisting ideologicalhegemony. Revising Lenin's notion of hegemony as arevolutionary strategy, Gramsci construes hegemony as a concept:not always an unarticulated power "relation between classesand/or other social forces based on consent rather thancoercion" (Simon, 1982:22). This definition: 1) affordsautonomy and agency through counter-hegemonic activity to allindividuals and groups in society; 2) interprets hegemony as a"natural" political and ideological cement to which peopleconsent, knowingly or unknowingly; and 3) explains any certainhegemony as a result of specific, historical power relations andconditions. The concept hegemony is particularly useful forconsidering government policies of liberal democratic societiesbecause they often dictate the parameters in which differentgroups or interests struggle for power. Because policy-makingis heavily reliant on elite constituents (eg. politicians,academics, economists, business interests), these interests are14often well represented or over represented in policy outcomes.This is one way that elites develop and maintain hegemony.Gitlin (1980) highlights the subtle yet pervasive qualities ofhegemony in his definition:[Hegemony is] a ruling class's (or alliance's) dominationof subordinate classes and groups through the elaborationand penetration of ideology (ideas and assumptions) intotheir common sense and every day practice; it is thesystematic (but not necessarily or even usuallydeliberate) engineering of mass consent to theestablished order. No hard and fast line can be drawnbetween mechanisms of hegemony and the mechanisms ofcoercion, just as the force of coercion over thedominated both presupposes and reinforces elements ofhegemony. In any given society, hegemony and coercionare interwoven (253).This thesis strives to determine, to some degree, whethercertain elements of current public access policies are"coercive" in their tendency to dictate the shape and scope ofthe public's access to television.There are some limits to using a neo-Gramscian framework.The most significant limit is the ease with which one maygeneralize and conflate the many and intricate processes whichoccur in the subtle, daily contests for power in material andideal relations. Because of this, it is useful to incorporate,where needed, some of the more specific theoretical work thathas been done in the areas of 1) social/cultural reproduction(Bourdieu & Passeron, 1977; Fiske, 1987; Giroux & Simon, 1989;Hall, 1979; and Williams, 1974) and 2) language and discourse(Barthes, 1977; Edelman, 1977; Foucault, 1980; Seiter, 1987; VanDijk, 1987). While these theoretical approaches to the uses andimportance of media such as television will not figure greatly15in the discussion of policy provisions proper, they will informdiscussion of the implications that limiting public accessprovisions might have on society.This thesis is organized in the following manner: Theintroduction, which includes the statement of the problem, thetreatment of the problem and its significance provides a generaloutline of the research. Chapter Two defines and delimits themajor foci of the study, the key individuals, organizations andconcepts involved, and any assumptions to which this inquirysubscribes. The third chapter is devoted to discussion of theproductive power of television in North American society. Thecase of television's treatment of "racial" and ethnic"minorities" and women is used to exemplify this position.Research is cited which shows that television misrepresentsthese members of society and that such misrepresentation doesseem to contribute to racism, sexism and discrimination.Evidence is cited here to suggest that television's ability toeducate and socialize should be recognized as a type ofeducation. Alternatives to commercial television are consideredalong with an outline of research on cable public access as oneof these alternatives. Chapter Four outlines the historicalroots and current structure of community television policy inCanada. In this chapter, public access is considered in thehistorical context of developing broadcast and culturalpolicies. Using this information, the philosophical andideological precedents which underpin Canada's current public16access provisions are highlighted. These analyses are furthersubstantiated with data gathered from the case of Vancouver'scommunity television provider -- Rogers Vancouver. The chaptercloses with a discussion of those policies and procedures whichlimit the public's access to television. The fifth chapterconsists of a parallel descriptive and analytical treatment ofpublic access to television policy provisions, procedures andlimitations in the United States. The cable franchisees TCI,Viacom and Summit Cablevision have supplied the empirical dataused in this treatment. Chapter Six concludes this thesis witha comparison of the policy and procedural limitations totelevision access in both countries.17CHAPTER TWOTHE CONCEPTS AND THE PLAYERSPublic Expression and ParticipationThis thesis concerns itself primarily with issues of publicexpression and participation through the medium of television.Expression refers to the act of making one's ideas and feelingsknown in a public forum. Participation refers to the act oftaking part in the structures and processes of society -- at alllevels. Public participation in social structures and processesis dependent, in large part, on access to those structures andprocesses. In the context of North American society, expressionand participation (or lack thereof) are primarily economic andpolitical issues -- issues of consumer and citizen rights. 5Democracies are premised on a notion of publicparticipation which is, in turn, premised on notions of publicexpression and informed decision-making. 6The profound political change from feudalism to democracywas based on the spread of knowledge, which allowed5 By suggesting expression and participation are primarilyeconomic and political issues it is not intended that the socialand cultural factors which, at once, comprise these two categoriesand encompass them be overlooked; factors such as 'race',ethnicity, gender, ideological orientation, etc. can contribute tothe facilitation or prohibition of expression either in conjunctionwith economic or political issues or in spite of them.6 Public participation has different meaning depending uponwhether one is speaking about civic or civil democracy. The formerrefers to active public participation in public affairs while thelatter refers to a more representative type of government orinvolvement (Ungerleider, 1990; Schwartz, 1988). Generally, bothcountries have based public access upon a philosophy of civicdemocracy. However, the policies themselves seem to promote a morecivil structure and function.18certain citizens enough education to govern affairs inthe name of their peers and enabled other citizens tomake an informed decision on who ought to rule. As aconsequence, information institutions became, and haveremained, essential to democracies because they informthe public about the important issues of the day and thevarious solutions proposed by the competing elites whowish to rule (Lorimer & McNulty, 1987:68).The First Amendment to the Constitution provides UnitedStates citizens the right to freedom of speech. In Canada,freedom of expression is the second fundamental freedom of fourin the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Although these countrieshave developed under different legal and social circumstances,their liberal democratic underpinnings promote many of the sameideals: freedom of expression/speech, democracy throughparticipation of an informed citizenry and equality under thelaw.' Whether or not these ideals are realized in practice,they have been given rhetorical prominence and a rhetoricalmandate, through each country's respective constitution, legalsystem, and implementing policy statements.Unlike provisions for rights to freedom of democratic andeducational expression/speech, however, neither Canada nor theUnited States have made formal provisions which give the generalpublic the right of access to the communications media such asnewspaper, radio, and broadcast television. While some peopledo manage to gain access to these media, there is no formal7 A fundamental difference does exist, however, in that theUnited States guarantees its citizens the right to privateproperty. Canada makes no such guarantee although provisions forsuch are currently being considered in the recent constitutionaldebates.19legal basis upon which the public may demand access (cf. Eberts,1971). These media form the dominant communications network ofmodern society yet, by not having access to them, the public'sright of expression/speech is seriously curtailed. Most peopleuse low-impact, short-reach communications technologies such aslocal meetings, newsletters, and public service announcements asmedia for expression. Such lack of access to more wide-reachingand dominant media not only makes it difficult to communicatewidely and among a number of differing sectors of thepopulation, so that effective citizen participation in ademocratic society is difficult. It also ensures, to somedegree, elite domination of the social, economic, political andcultural structures and discourses. 8 As indicated earlier,Canada and the United States have made some provisions to affordthe public access to television -- "public access television" or"community television".Hegemony and IdeologyHegemony is domination. Gramscian hegemony is premised ona notion of ideological domination which does encompass othertypes of domination: political, economic, cultural, etc.Hegemony is neither binary nor static -- nor is it generalizable8 Rights and freedoms are traditionally extended to individual 'citizens'; not to groups. In my paper "Multicultural PolicyInitiatives and the New Equality" I argue that the liberaltradition of law directed at individuals as regards provisions forequality, anti-discrimination and access to the full participationin society is changing to encompass groups -- largely through courtinterpretation of law. This has given disfranchised segments ofthe population more leverage with which to achieve their fullerparticipation in societal structures and processes.20to numerous situations and contexts.^Rather, it is plural,fluid and situational. Hegemony is dependent upon thecharacters and issues at hand, as well as their histories andexpected futures. This thesis, for example, discussestelevision as a site of struggle for hegemony among threeentities: the state, the television/communications industry, andthe general public. These three parties are continuallystruggling to gain or maintain as much physical, economic orideological control of television as they can in order that eachof their particular agendas might have primacy.Just as there are any number of "minorities","sub-cultures" or "communities of interest" (and there are "sub-cultures" and differing "communities of interests" withinthese), there are also any number of ideologies and entitiesvying for hegemony. An ideology becomes hegemonic when apreponderance of people accept its tenets and premises.However, a group's numeric majority does not ensure that it willbe able to develop ideology and achieve hegemony. For example,women and "racial" and ethnic "minorities" form the majority ofNorth Americans yet their success in achieving ideologicalhegemony over the political and economic issues of pay equity isminimal. They consent to lower paid jobs because their optionsare limited and they are not yet able to counter the dominantideology which suggests that lower wages for these populationsis justifiable and necessary. Ideological hegemony is also notdependent upon the support and acceptance of the numeric21majority of the population. If an ideology is largely acceptedand unchallenged by the portion of the population that has powerin the particular area at hand, then that portion of thepopulation can achieve hegemony.Institutional entities are also not monolithic. They arecomposed of vying interests that strive for and achieveideological hegemony between and among themselves. For example,while there is a faction of the television/communicationsindustry with great interest in economic and technicaldomination, there are also constituents which promote theindustry's moral/civil obligation to serve the public with theeconomic and technical power it does have. Currently, those whopromote an ideology of economic/technical control and profithave more legitimacy in the television/communications industrythan others. This is not to say that another faction might notdevelop ideological hegemony over time.This thesis argues that legislative and policy provisions,as well as the medium of television, have ideological impact.Control of these technologies and processes allows political,economic and technical elites to maintain an hegemony over theirparticular domains by perpetuating an ideology of democraticparticipation, in this case, through the medium of television.The general public, under the impression that its contributionsto society through community television are adequate, does notcontest the hegemony of the other entities. Thus, the public iscomplicit in maintaining the hegemony of the other entities by22adopting the current ideology of access to television. If thepublic were to challenge this ideology for increased access, itwould be agitating for change in ideology as well as practice.The term "ideology" is used to represent any one way ofthinking among many. Marx and Engels (1932) used this term torefer to class-based knowledge premised on false consciousness.Althusser (1971) and Mannheim (1936) also construed ideology assomething class-based but suggested that other social andmaterial criteria affected the shape and intent of the ideology.These social theorists suggest that ideology may be usedpositively (for egalitarian ends) or negatively (fortotalitarian ends) depending upon the political/economicintentions of the bourgeoisie.Gramsci's (1971) concept of ideology is even moreencompassing:In reading the Prison Notebooks it is helpful to bear inmind that Gramsci uses a variety of terms which for himare broadly equivalent to ideology, such as culture,philosophy, world outlook, or conception of the world, aswell as the phrase "moral and intellectual reform" whenhe is dealing with the transformation of ideologyrequired for the advance to socialism (Simon, 1982:59).Ideology here is not conceptualized as a solely class-basedconcept. Rather, it is composed of both material and idealfactors and has the power to 1) construct inequitable relations,2) encourage acceptance of these inequitable relations, and 3)also encourage contestations of inequitable relations to somedegree. Gramsci imbues the various social constituents with the23ability to develop counter-hegemonic ideology that willconceivably lead to their acquiring their own hegemony. Hisnotion of ideology highlights that any particular world view orway of doing is partisan and, in being so, has the potential towork positively or negatively against other world views and waysof doing. On this account, taken-for-granted or inevitablesocial constructions such as particular social or politicalconstellations, gender relations, hierarchies of power, etc. arecalled into question against the interests that they mightserve.Ideology is generally expressed as common sense -- thoseassumptions, procedures, rules of discourse which aretaken for granted. Hegemony is the suffusing of thesociety by ideology which sustains the powerful group'sclaims to their power by rendering their pre-eminencenatural, justifiable and beneficent (Gitlin, 1982: 206).As indicated earlier, there are some very real limits tousing a neo-Gramscian framework. Some argue that a viabletheory of ideology has not yet been developed so that those whouse such a framework assume its importance rather than "arguefor it" (Barrett in Steeves, 1987:108). On a related note,others argue that Gramsci's theory will draw more attention tocounter-hegemonic potential for popular resistance than to thesignificant forces which constrain resistance and perpetuatepolitical, economic and ideological domination (Gruneau, 1988:26). I argue that while the Gramscian framework does provideexplanations for how ideological hegemony is perpetuated and forwhat reason, it is too blunt an instrument to explainspecifically how individuals confront, consider and negotiate24ideology and when, specifically, that process results inresistance to or acceptance of hegemony.A number of communications scholars have adopted a moderateview of media in their critical treatment of television andother mass communications (Apple, 1982; Bennet, Martin, Mercer& Woollacott, 1986; Gitlin, 1980, 1982, 1985; Gramsci, 1971;Kellner, 1990). However, there is scholarship which representsmore extreme versions. Herman and Chomsky's (1988) descriptionof the uses and functions of media as propaganda to shapepopular opinion proposes a conspiracy of the political right(see also Althusser, 1971). The other extreme is characterizedby Daniel Moynihan (1973) who perceives the media as aconspiracy of the political left to undermine traditional powerstructures and values.Moderate scholars move between perceiving television mediaas a complex integration of a number of competing and/orcomplementary forces at either the level of production (Kellner)or at the level of product (Gitlin). These treatments tendtoward generality and conceptualization. By focusing on themanner in which specific formal statements of policy shapeaccess provisions, this thesis attempts to provide concreteknowledge for practical application in the future.The state, the television/communications industry and thegeneral public engage in dialectic struggle to construct andbreak down ideologies and power relations. These have tangiblepolitical, economic and social results. It has long been argued25that the difference between enfranchised and disfranchisedsegments of society is that the former have more opportunity toimpose their ideology on the others. This is only possiblebecause the enfranchised have greater access to and control overthe economic, political, and social apparati through whichsociety is informed and controlled. The specific mechanismsthrough which these process occur should be considered and, indoing so, the concepts must be operationalized. The governmentsof Canada and the United States promote an official discourse ofdemocracy, equality and tolerance of difference. This thesisattempts to illustrate one instance of the struggle overideology through the site of television. Public accessencourages grass-roots communication and the opportunity tochallenge the portrayals and structures of commercialtelevision. Such a challenge is necessary because of thepervasive influence television has on our society (Montgomery,1989; Goldberg, 1990; Kellner, 1990). In this way, mechanismswhich encourage reproduction of inequitable relations may beuncovered and analyzed.What is Public Access Television and Who is the Public? Public access, as it will be used throughout this thesis,refers to the opportunity for groups or individuals to produceand "air" television/video shows on local or nationaltelevision. Such production and programming is developed withsignificant input and influence from members of the generalpublic. In Canada and the United States, special provisions26have been made to give the public the opportunity to expressitself on designated channels on cable television: Public AccessTelevision in the United States and Community Television inCanada. While the specifics of these provisions andopportunities will be discussed in more detail in Chapters Threeand Four, it is first important to define what "public" and"access" mean.While people often speak of "the public", it is misleadingto do so. "The public" is not a homogenous entity with easilyidentified needs and desires. In reality it is a collective ofgroups and individuals of extremely diverse backgrounds,experiences and needs. None of the terms coined to define "thepublic" do justice to the many constituencies represented andthe complexity of their interactions and contributions tosociety. This is largely because descriptive designations suchas "minorities", "special interest groups", "citizens" etc.,tend to entrench binary and hierarchical categories indicatinginclusion and exclusion, centre and margin, majority andminority, haves and have-nots. Even the term "the public"derives a large portion of its definitional value in relation to"the private" -- interests that are elite, exclusionary andeconomic. The latter's social, political and economic influenceis sanctioned and the former's is not. In the case of "public"access to television, "the public" are those members of theNorth American population who, for whatever reasons, are notlikely to be able to gain access to television as it is27currently organized without entrenched legal provisions toensure such access.Many members of the public do not have reasonable access tomainstream methods of communicating and participating inenfranchised North American society. They are often called"minorities" or "special interests" although, together, theycomprise the numeric majority of the population. Some haveorganized around issues of class, gender, "race", ethnicity,place of origin, age, disability, appearance, religiousaffiliation, sexual orientation or ideological orientation andseek to express their views or concerns on television. Some areunaffiliated but also seek expression through the medium oftelevision.In keeping with the Canadian Radio-Television andTelecommunication Commission (CRTC), the public can be definedin terms of "communities". In its Policies RespectingBroadcasting Receiving Undertakings (1975), the CRTC defines"communities" as "communities of interest" as well as geographiccommunities. These are groups "based on cultural background orarising out of common endeavour" and formed for the purpose ofexchanging ideas, increasing social and political awareness andgenerally connecting on common experiences and interests (4).Finally, "the public" and "communities" are citizens. 9 As9 This use of "citizens" here is rhetorical. While NorthAmerican governments promote egalitarianism and grant citizenshipto numerous immigrants daily, many immigrants never achieve full-citizen status. My definition of "public" does include theseindividuals who are "citizens" of North America by virtue of their28such, they have rights and freedoms which, theoretically, theymay exercise at their discretion. These are democratic rightswhich allow them certain participation in the development andoperation of the country through social, economic and politicalmeans. They may also speak freely and expect fair and equitabletreatment. One of the ways that "citizens" are afforded accessto society is through public access or community television."Access" to television can be defined in four ways: First,there is access to the production and programming process. Inthis facet, interested individuals and groups are given accessto the training and technology with which they may produce theirown television shows. They are also given the opportunity tohave them programmed on the community channel. Second, there isaccess to input in the policies and procedures governing thechannel. Third, there is access to distribution. Distributionrefers to when, how many times and how geographically far a showis "aired". And fourth, there is viewing access which refers tothe process of receiving a television show in one's home. Mostdiscussions of public access to television refer to productionand programming access. However, as will be argued, productionand programming access may have little of the intended impactbecause of limitations to distribution and viewing access. Inthis thesis, "public access", "community access", "publictelevision" and "community television" will be usedinterchangeably to refer to all of these definitions of accessresiding on the continent.29unless otherwise indicated."Pure" or "autonomous" public access refers to publicproduction and programming that is left primarily to thecommunity producer -- it is not mediated by professional mediapersonnel. It is important to note that the first policyprovisions for public access to television in both countrieswere premised on notions of "pure" public access as will bedemonstrated in the following chapters. However, over the yearsboth the policy provisions for access and the implementation ofthose policies at the station level have moved away from thisideal.Who or What are the Television/Communications Media? There is a complicated interaction between the technologyof television and the received forms of other kinds ofcultural and social activity. Many people have said thattelevision is essentially a combination and developmentof earlier forms: the newspaper, the public meeting, theeducational class, the theatre, the cinema, the sportsstadium, and advertising columns and billboards(Williams, 1974:44).Before launching into the finer points of broadcastingpolicy and public access to television, it may be useful todiscuss how the television media are shaped -- technologically,politically, economically and socially. Although this may seema broad place to begin for a comparison of public accesspolicies in Canada and the United States, the current shape ofpublic access is largely based on ideologies developed over theyears from ongoing political and practical decisions about thestructure and function of communications by government andbusiness elites.30The television media can be defined as any combination ofhardware, production and programming that results in a visualpicture on a home television screen. One way to classifytelevision media is by the manner in which the visual images aretransmitted - satellite, microwave, radio frequencies, orcoaxial cable. VCRs can also be classified as a televisionmedium. Canadian and United States legislation distinguishesbetween broadcasting and cablecasting. Broadcasting refers toover-the-air (and sometimes wire) transmissions by radio wave,microwave and satellite. Program origination is a significantpart of this technology. Cablecasting is a re-broadcasttechnology which distributes programming by means of coaxialand/or fibre optic cables from original signals received bybroadcast, microwave or satellite transmissions. 1°FIGURE 1Hierarchy of Communications Industrybased on the following categories:Technology Reach/Dist Owner/User Policy Area ProgrammingSatellite^Internat'l Intl Corp. Broadcast^OriginalNetworks^National^Nat'l Corp. Broadcast^OriginalLocal^TV Local^Local/Nat'l Broadcast^OriginalCable TV^Micro/local Nat'l Corp. Cable^ReBroadcastTechnology = Type of Television Technology'° This definition considers only one aspect of the cablesystem in deeming it a re-broadcast technology -- the cabledistribution system from the head-end (where the station receivesover-the-air signals from broadcast sources) to the public. Itcould be argued that cable systems do not significantly modify orchange the broadcasting signal and/or process and, on this account,should be considered broadcasters responsible to the full impact ofthe Broadcasting Act and the Communications Act.31Reach/Dist =^Reach or Distribution of the TelevisionSignalOwner/User =^The Primary Owner or User of the TechnologyPolicy Area = The Area of Policy that the ParticularTechnology Falls UnderProgramming = The Type of Programming Primarily ShownThe amount of original programming generated by cablestations is minimal in comparison with the amount of programmingoriginated for distribution through broadcast technologies.While cable systems are recent additions to the televisionmedia, they have grown remarkably in the past twenty years andhave become a significant and formidable force in thecommunications and political structure. Public accesstelevision still remains a grass-roots element of thetelevision/communications media. However, its potential forgrowth and impact is, as of yet, unexplored. Robinson (personalcommunication, 15 January 1992), a prominent Canadiancommunications scholar, has diagrammed the communicationsindustry as in Figure 1 and emphasises that it is a hierarchy ofvarious communications technologies -- over-the-air satellite,over-the-air network television, over-the-air local televisionand cable television -- as a hierarchy. Placement in thehierarchy is premised on 1) transmission technology, range andcapacity (whether the technology is over-the-air or cable,whether it is international, national or local, whetherprogramming is originated or re-broadcast, and the amount ofvolume a system can take) and 2) political/economic jurisdiction32(who has the major control/ownership and/or jurisdiction foruse) .11Political and economic forces, such as who has control ofa technology or who decides what its function should be, shapethe socio-cultural aspects of how a technology is used.Political forces also determine the regulatory category in whicha technology is slotted through policy provisions.Technological factors determine the economic strength needed tosupport any particular operation, and these economic factors inturn determine who can have control of the technology. Thus,the television media are those individuals and organizations whoown, control and/or influence the networks, local stations andthe production of programs (Matellart, 1971; Turnstall, 1977;Schiller, 1973; Hardin, 1985; Herman & Chomsky, 1988).The media production community has the most direct controlover and effect upon the specific content and scope of theseprograms. The members of this artistic community conceive,develop and produce shows (Comstock, 1989). They areresponsible for the scripts, the casting, the sets and thegeneral "look" of programs. Primary production sites fortelevision shows are New York and Los Angeles in the UnitedStates and Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal in Canada.Commercial television production is a high risk, high pressure,11 This is one of many ways that North American communicationscould be diagrammed. Note that this thesis argues such a paradigmwould have to be restructured to give more power and reach to whatis here termed "local" communications.33high cost business. Funding is generated primarily throughadvertising -- the price of advertising time rises in directproportion to the number and appropriate characteristics of thepeople who are likely to be viewing at the time. Because it isthe goal of advertisers to reach as many people as they can, itis the goal of television networks to air programs which willattract and maintain as many viewers as possible.Trade organizations, acting primarily as informationalclearing houses, also exert a great deal of influence in shapingcommunications policy through lobbying efforts. This study willlook specifically at information and influences of the CanadianCable Television Association (CCTA) in Canada and the NationalFederation of Local Cable Programmers (NFLCP) in the UnitedStates. However, the Canadian Association for Broadcasters(CAB) and the National Association for Broadcasters (NAB) willalso be mentioned because of their significant influence on thedevelopment of policies regulating the development of cabletechnology in order to ensure that these did not encroach on thebroadcasting market (McChesney, 1991; CRTC, 1975).The decisions of national network staff and ownersregarding what programs will and will not air impact both theaffiliate stations and the viewers. Although the staff orowners of an affiliate station may decide not to carry certainnetworks or programs, that there is limited material to drawfrom means that the diversity of commercial television islimited as well. Thus, not only do a limited pool of owners and34staff of commercial television stations ultimately decide whatthe viewing public will see -- directly influencing the contentand scope of the programming that reaches the general public --they choose from a limited amount of material developed,largely, by the same production or programming sources. Thatthe artistic production community, the networks, affiliatestations and cable companies are owned and controlled by aremarkably small portion of the private population as well as,of course, the government exacerbates the inevitable fact thatmedia and society are dominated by social, economic andpolitical elites (Adorno, 1951; Althusser, 1971; Gramsci, 1971;Hall, 1988; Marx, 1967; Herman & Chomsky, 1988). Indeed, it istrue that most large media companies have controlling interestsin newspapers, magazines, radio stations, and other mass media.(Mattelart, 1979; Turnstall, 1977; Hardin, 1985; Herman &Chomsky, 1988; Schiller, 1973, Graber, 1989).Ben Bagdikian stresses the fact that despite the largemedia numbers, the twenty-nine largest media systems [inthe United States] account for over half of the output ofnewspapers, and most of the sales and audiences inmagazines, broadcasting, books and movies. He contendsthat they "constitute a new Private Ministry ofInformation and Culture" that can set a national agenda(Herman & Chomsky, 1988:4).More to the point of the film industry's structure andfilm content is the observation by Jeremy Turnstall andDavid Walker that the concentration of commercial filmand television production in Hollywood distorts thevision of image makers, who live in a socially insulatedcommunity and mistake California culture for Americanculture (Woll, 1987:7).There is little to refute that North American media systems haveconcentrated ownership and production tendencies, and are35limited by those tendencies.Although Canada's media ownership is more concentrated thanthat of the United States, American national network televisionis, by far, the most pervasive television influence on Canada'sgeneral population. American network programming is broadcaston Canadian networks, syndicated to affiliate stations andre-broadcast on cable stations. Canadians without cabletelevision can usually receive American broadcast signals whichare often strong enough to reach over the national border. Itis in this way that a fairly homogenous product, Americannetwork television, is distributed to a diverse, internationalviewing audience. Commercial networks and stations do notprovide access to the public primarily because other programmingis more profitable and because there is no legal requirement forthem to do so. The high ratings needed to draw favourableadvertising rates are so important to these enterprises thatthey are unwilling to take risks even with commercially producedmaterial lest the audience draw be affected negatively(Comstock, 1989).The content of television programming is as much the mediumas is the technology through which it is made possible.Television programming and its effects will be discussed indepth in Chapter Three but it is enough to note here thatprogramming is, by far, the aspect of the television industrywith which the general public is most familiar. Thus the mediaare the structures, the technology, the political, economic and36artistic interests and the product of the image on the screen inour homes.^In defining or discussing the television media,there is no way that these elements can be disassociated.Who or What is the State? Although it is certain that for the fundamentalproductive classes (capitalist bourgeoisie and modernproletariat) the state is only conceivable as theconcrete form of a specific economic world, of a specificsystem of production, this does not mean that therelationship of means to end can be easily determined ortakes the form of a simple schema, apparent at firstsight. It is true that the conquest of power andachievement of a new productive world are inseparable,and that propaganda for one of them is also propagandafor the other, and that in reality it is solely in thiscoincidence that the unity of the dominant class -- atonce the economic and political -- resides (Gramsci,1971:116).In Canada, the state has played an active role inorchestrating and maintaining the economic connection betweenthe private interests which dominate the exploitation of thecountry's numerous natural resources (staples) and outsideinterests willing to trade, but more interested in directinvestment and ownership (Innis, 1956). In the United States,the state has historically promulgated a laissez faire policywhich favours de-regulation over regulation and which, in part,results in the domination of market forces. Panitch (1977),citing Miliband, provides a point of departure for discussion ofhow the state exerts control over social and economic affairs:As Miliband points out, the state is not merely thegovernment, far less just the central government. Thestate is a complex of institutions, including government,but also including the bureaucracy (embodied in the civilservice as well as in public corporations, central banks,regulatory commissions, etc.), the military, thejudiciary, representative assemblies, and (very37importantly for Canada) what Miliband calls thesub-central levels of government, that is, provincialexecutives, legislatures, and bureaucracies, andmunicipal governmental institutions (Panitch, 1977:6).Panitch (1977), goes on to say that the state is NOT "politicalparties, the privately owned media, the church, [and] pressuregroups". These, he suggests, are elements of the politicalsystem which are distinctly separate from the state althoughthey exert significant influence upon it. In the context ofthis thesis it is clear that the state is represented bygovernment bodies and agencies which develop, interpret andimplement formal policy regarding communications generally andpublic access to television in particular. Canada's Parliamentand the House and Senate in the United States are responsiblefor setting out the national communications policies which arecodified in the Broadcasting Act and the Communications Actrespectively. The Canadian Radio-Television andTelecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the FederalCommunications Commission (FCC) are the regulatory commissionswhich interpret the Acts, develop regulations and oversee theirimplementation. According to Miliband's conception, privatemedia can not be considered an arm of the state. However, inthe case of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) aninstitution "in, drawing authority from, but not of the state"there is a question as to its status as an element of the stateor not (Hall, 1986:42). This question also arises in the caseof private cable stations who are required in Canada, throughgovernment policies, to provide access to the public. At what38point does a state policy become a private initiative and,conversely, at what point does a private industry become the armof the state?Most Marxist interpretations of the state focus on itsfunction as a bourgeois tool for accumulating capital andlegitimizing the acts and relations involved in suchaccumulation. This conception is in keeping with Gramsci'snotions of state and civil society except that it priorizes theeconomic/material over the ideal. These theories posit that thestate is composed of elites and has served elite interestswhich, historically, have been economic interests. While broadenough to explain social and economic phenomena in generalterms, they 1) fail to communicate more particularisticconceptions of how the state promotes accumulation andlegitimation, and 2) are limited and limiting in their tendencyto bound social constituents and their roles in society.One alternative to instrumental treatments of the state iswork that has been done in Cultural Studies. This approachsuggests that social actors (individuals and groups) attempt toacquire more than just monetary or material capital. They seekcapital that is less identifiable; capital that takes the shapeof ideas, values and behaviours.Hall (1986) suggests that the state is a culturalinstitution composed of elites -- elite by nature of "culturalcapital" as well as their material capital. "Cultural capital"is a concept developed by Bourdieu (1977) to describe those39signifiable traditions, values and preferences that can be usedto identify people and things "elite". While different classesand alliances identify with different types of cultural capital,elites, in control of government and other political andeconomic constituents, can ensure that those entities withidentifiably elite cultural capital have more access than thosewithout (Willis, 1977). 12 On this account, cultural capital isdistributed, in part, through institutions of the state such asgovernment and the educational system and those outlined aboveby Miliband, as well as those branches of the media(legislative, regulatory) which are specifically statesanctioned. Hegemony is maintained through the active promotionof people, institutions and ideas which are identifiably elite.Because elites have so much material and ideal control ofsociety, they are able to promote their own interests at theexpense of others.Hall (1986) and Foucault (1977) argue that before the turnof the century, elite control was largely reliant on physicalforce. However, economic and systemic changes at the turn ofthis century required and precipitated new political formations.This period's "rise" of democracy enfranchised adult males, butdemocracy became a "problem" as new alliances formed (i.e. TheLabour Party; women) and demanded enfranchisement as well(Hall). These transformations of social and political relations12 In this instance, Hall uses a Gramscian framework todiscuss, specifically the case of Britain. I believe his ideas arebroadly generalizeable to a North American context.40required a new type of state.[The State] had become, formally at least, fullyrepresentative (one man, and shortly thereafter, oneperson, one vote) and its rule had, therefore, to assumethe appearance of universality -- treating all citizensequally. This posed quite new problems of political,social and cultural management. The leading socialclasses and their interests had to sustain their positionof dominance -- yet, somehow, within a state whichclaimed that political power had been equalised and"democratised". The question, then, was how to contain democracy while, at the same time, maintaining popularconsent, in the circumstances of economic upheaval andintensified international rivalry (Hall:39).In order to maintain power under a democratic rubric, the stateelites had to adopt new, and perhaps more subversive, methods ofoperation. While elite domination was overt up to this point --the force of the state was not an uncommon occurrence --material conditions were such that elites could no longerdominate by force. Rather, ideological strategies were employedand, with this transformation from force to "persuasion",domination likewise transformed into "hegemony". According toAlthusser (1971), ideology and hegemonic relations aretransmitted and reproduced through "ideological stateapparatuses" -- institutions such as legislative and regulatorybodies, the media and the educational system.The only force capable of imposing authority andleadership in these circumstances was a new type ofstate: the universal neutral state, representative of allthe classes; the "representative state", the state of"the people", the common good, the "general interest";the state that could steer, incite and educate societyalong certain definite pathways, while retaining itsappearance of universality and class independence --"above the struggle", party to none (Hall, 1986:39).Unlike Althusser (1971) and Adorno (1957) who perceive the41state's influence and ability to successfully impose ideology asmanifest, cultural theorists such as Hall (1979, 1986, 1988),Williams (1974) , Willis (1977), and Giroux (1989) suggest thatthere are sites of and movement toward resistance within andwithout the state. One example of this is the criticalpedagogue who, although engaged by the state to educate students(citizens) using a particular curriculum, may also be engaged inencouraging his/her students to develop skills with which theycan critically analyze the form and function of that curriculumin a broader socio-cultural context. Another example is groupsand individuals such as academics, activists and/or businesspeople who either are subsidized by government, closely relatedto government, employed directly by government or completelyindependent of government who promote "liberal" or "progressive"agendas. Conversely, there are independent groups andindividuals who promote "conservative" agendas (i.e. MoralMajority, White Supremists). Cultural Studies have provided thepreponderance of work which explores the state and stateapparati as sites of struggle for both material and ideologicalcontrol. They have focused largely on those forces, whetherstate forces or not, which promote and legitimate material andideal capital accumulation and elite hegemony, as well as therelevant counter-hegemonic activity which works to vitiate eliteand inequitable interests.The second limitation of traditional and instrumentalisttheories of the state is that they stubbornly continue to42underpin, and constrain, current conceptions of the state andpolitical economy. Limited by their tendency to dichotomizethe players and relations in societies -- capital/labour,bourgeoisie/proletariat, order/chaos, etc. -- these theories arealso limiting in the way that social phenomena, such asresistance movements, are categorized in terms of and inrelation to these dichotomies. Magnusson and Walker (1988)persuasively argue that capital, and the state as itspromulgator, has been "de-centred". Not only have political andeconomic relations changed locations (i.e. from a national to aglobal scale), the conception of capital as something materialand external to the "revolutionary subject" has acquired newstatus as something within his/her consciousness. Resistance nolonger requires the massive collective action of the"proletariat". It can take the form of "critical socialmovements" "which react to immediate conditions, lack any grandstrategies, welcome small victories, fail to reconcile theirobjectives, and have no clear revolutionary potential" (67-68).These authors suggest that critical social movements have nottaken on the ideology of traditional theories of the state and,because of this, 1) may have more emancipatory potential thantraditional movements and 2) may open new ways of conceiving ofthe state and its function in society.These are important developments.^They suggest thattraditional theories and categories, often taken for granted,need to be questioned and subject to scrutiny. By removing43these theories and categories from the privileged status theyhave long held, those interested in deconstructing currentrelations can reexamine and reconstruct relations with which newand more encompassing theories can be developed.As Gramsci (1971) and Panitch (1977) argue, here the stateis broadly construed as the integral entity that develops,interprets and implements regulatory policies. Such policiesrespond to ideas or goals that have been deemed necessary,viable, desirable etc. by individuals and groups of people whoconstitute the state. These ideas and goals are usually chosenfrom diverse representations for advocacy, support or protectionthat come to the state from various social actors. In thecontext of this thesis then, the state is the entity which holdsideological and regulatory power over the technical/economicpower of the television/communications industries and over thelatent popular power of the general public.In a discussion of the state as it pertains to television,the effect of business interests in the educative power oftelevision for economic reasons, and business interests in themembers/powers of the state that may further those economicinterests, must be considered. Because the state hashistorically been dominated by monied, male elites (a conditionthat generally persists in North America to date), the closeties between business and politics is understandable. However,the state also has a rhetorical obligation to "protect personsand property and...maximum freedom from interference to each44individual" and this should also be taken into account (Jaggar,1988:33).Because the state has the power to regulate the terms oftelevision's operation through policy, it has the ability toindirectly shape television programming. The implications ofthis are vast.Policy as the Articulation of State-Defined Political, Social, Economic, and Cultural Obiectives While economic factors are significant in shaping materialand ideal components of societies, they are also mediated byother input - political, social and cultural. These all play arole in defining the geographic and ideological boundaries of acountry to some degree. As we have seen in the previousdiscussions of the "public" and the "state", North Americansociety is not homogenous -- different alliances vie fordifferent kinds of power. Yet, there are power elites who haveaccess to the material and ideological apparati through whichthey can influence and control society, in part, by determiningits interests. One way that this is accomplished is throughformal pronouncements on matters of social, political, economicand cultural interest as they are codified in policies,legislation and regulations.Take the issue of free trade. This is generally regarded-- by Central Canadians at least -- as the primarypolitical issue of the day....Why should free trade beregarded as the primary issue'  The obvious answer...isthat the Canadian state has defined the issue as central.The media have accepted this definition and propagated itamong the public at large. No doubt this reflects thepriorities of the capitalist class (Magnusson & Walker,1988:65).45Policy science, or policy analysis, is the study of theknowledge, processes, and components relevant to policydevelopment and implementation. Most policy analysis focuses onthe policy-making process which consists of: 1) a "problem" tobe addressed, 2) resources such as information, skills,expertise, funding, etc. with which the problem is tackled, and3) policy-makers who utilize the resources in a variety of waysto either make policy or reformulate the problem (Gaskell, 1988;Weiss, 1977; Lindblom & Cohen, 1979; Majone, 1989). This thesiswill focus on the final product of the policy-making process --policy documents and the actions they prescribe. However, thereis merit in understanding the ways in which the policy processis conceived and formally studied. On this account, the mannerin which policy analysts and policy-makers categorize anddevelop policy can be examined as a way to contextualize policyand its applications.Weiss (1977), Bulmer (1983), Rubenson (1989) and Lindblomand Cohen (1979) indicate that research is primarily used in thepolicy-making process as a means of "enlightening" policydecisions. Along with Dorn and Troyna (1982), Gaskell (1988),and Torgerson (1986), and in opposition to Postlethwaite (1986),they emphasize the political nature of all three aspects of thepolicy-making process. Majone (1989) and Mitroff and Mason(1981) emphasize the dialectic nature of these three components.While traditional linear, hierarchical problem-solving46models are giving way to more conceptual, holistic andinteractionist models, many scholars do priorize certain aspectsof the policy process over others. Guba (1984), Rist (1981) andRein and Schon (1977) point to the importance of cleardefinitions of policy, philosophical orientation and,particularly, how the problem is set in making policy that caneffectively address the issues at hand. Handleman and Leyton(1978), Harman (1980), Hummel (1987) and Weber (in Gawthorpe,1969) give precedence to the importance of bureaucratic andadministrative influences on the process.Of particular interest for this thesis are three positionson policy analysis and the policy-making process which explain,in different ways, how policy can be used for hegemonic ends.The first, held by Dorn and Troyna (1982) in their discussion ofmultiracial education policies, is that policy is formed just asmuch from lack of identification and consideration of issues asfrom their active role in the process. "Thus, the exclusion ofissues from the agenda may be due as much to thetaken-for-granted acceptance of the terms of reference of debate(that is, a sort of ideological inertia) as to the manipulationby conscious non-decision-making. In a word, our concern shouldbe with the problem of legitimation" (177). As a result, policyoutcomes or, more important, lack of outcomes indicate thepreferences of those elites in control of the policy process andtheir ability to set the agenda. The second position runstangentially to this first. Lindblom and Cohen (1979) and Weiss47(1977) hold that "ordinary knowledge" -- people's common sensenotions of what "is" -- often have as much or more to do withpolicy decisions than more formal resources. In this case,research serves as a way to legitimate previously held ordesirable notions to which policy-makers continue to hold fast,even in the face of contrary evidence. Outlining the debate onhow common sense notions are formed is beyond the scope of thisthesis, however, there is merit in considering discourse theory1) as one explanation of how knowledge, including common senseknowledge, is constructed and 2) as one method of consideringhow texts/signs are involved in policy-making. This excursusinto discourse theory is the third position.Theorists such as Foucault (1977), Barthes (1977), van Dijk(1987), Seiter (1987) and Edelman (1977) have found semiotics --the study of signs (particularly language), their meanings, andtheir social uses -- fruitful ways to study the production ofknowledge and its function in society.The semiological approach identifies itself, fromHjelmslev on, as an anti-humanism which out-modes thosedebates -- still going on even now -- betweenphilosophers, where one side argues for a transcendencewith an immanent "human" causality which the other arguesfor an "ideology" whose cause is external and thereforetranscendent; but where neither shows any awareness ofthe linguistic and, at a more general level, semioticlogic of the sociality in which the (speaking,historical) subject is embedded (Kristeva, 1986:25-26).In considering the merits of a semiotic approach topolicy-analysis, we are sensitized to the importance ofdiscourse/text in the production of knowledge and materialrelations. This thesis does not undertake a formal semiotic48analysis of policy documents in the tradition of Lacan, Derrida,et al. However, in its analysis of policy documents and theimplementation procedures which pertain to public access totelevision (texts of various kinds), sensitivity will be shownto the symbolic impact of the language. This may shed light onwhat each country's pronounced social and cultural objectivesare, and whether the provisions for public access reflect theirintent.Edelman (1977) is a semiotician who studies the language ofpolicy and politics in order to determine for what ends they areused. Although the following quote refers specifically to hisown work regarding the manner in which political language andsymbols encourage acceptance of poverty and inequality, itartfully articulates the context within which this study ofpolicy provisions for public access to television takes place.The pluralist aspects of American politics, throughopportunities for individual, direct participation inpolitics and through group affiliations, might seem, atfirst glance to provide people with the chance to affectpolitical life. Yet careful analysis of pluralistassumptions over the past ten years reveals thatpluralism does not substantively contradict the positionthat American politics manipulates mass attitudes andperspectives. Pluralism may ensure competition amongelites and at times may provide masses with opportunitiesto participate in decision-making, thus conveying a sensethat popular democracy thrives. But pluralism andpractice also means elite dominion on the major issuessalient to elites, severe limitations on protest groupactivity, and manipulation of the terms on which "issues"arise and are processed (xvii). 1313 Edelman seems to construe the term 'pluralism' broadly.Thus, the notion of populism could, and should, be included withinhis treatment.49On this account, policy is one articulation of state-definedpolitical, social, economic and cultural objectives. Ouranalysis of those documents which make provisions for publicaccess to television will examine how government has articulateda venue through which the public can exercise a pluralist,participatory role in the medium of television. The importanceof this access as a realization of the intent of a liberaldemocratic philosophy cannot be denied. However, it is perhapsmore significant because it provides the public a way to countertelevision's productive power as an elite and ideologicaldiscourse. Such participation and potential opposition throughtelevision has been made possible only through regulation on thepart of the state.50CHAPTER THREETHE NORTH AMERICAN CONTEXTTelevision is a pervasive medium in North American society, andthe public has little control over it. Canadians watch anaverage of 23.4 hours of television every week. For the mostpart, entertainment programming is preferred, although differentgroups prefer different types of programming (i.e. drama,comedy, news, etc.) (StatsCanada 87.208 Television viewing,1989). The statistics are little different in the UnitedStates. Thus, North Americans spend an average of 48% of theirleisure time watching television -- 3.4 hours a day in Canadaand 4.2 hours a day in the United States. Not only istelevision the primary leisure activity, it is also the primaryand most trusted source of information (Collins, 1990; Comstock,1989; Kubey & Csikszentmihalyi, 1990; Seigel, 1983). What kindsof information are these media transmitting and with what effecton the viewing public? These questions will be illustratedusing the example of "minority" representation and participationin commercial television production and programming. Researchon the effects of such programming both on general and"minority" populations will also be discussed. "Minorities", inthis context, will indicate identifiably "racial", ethnic, orfemale characters and issues."While Canadian research and television programming isconsidered in this review, the focus is predominantly on researchand programming in the United States. This is attributable, inpart, to the sheer abundance of research on the American context.However, these findings should be generalizeable to a Canadian51The assumptions that underpin this discussion are 1) thattelevision has educational "productive power", 2) that thispower is one key factor in the maintenance of political,economic, social and cultural relations, and 3) that businessand government elites control the preponderance of television'sproductive power through their control of access policies andtelevision technology.Because of television's productive power,misrepresentations can take on ideological dimensions. What theindustry intends as entertainment (i.e. caricature characterssuch as Archie Bunker or Bart Simpson) may, in the end, presentunfavourable or absolutely inaccurate stereotypes and relations.If people do use knowledge learned from television as a base forsome of their actions, as Signorielli (1985) and Jackson et. al(1986) hold, then television programs which promote inequitablerelations may figure significantly in producing and/orreproducing relations which are based on the subordination ofcertain people, behaviours and ideas in North American society.Changing these conceptions and relations is, in part, dependentupon changing the face of television programming.As Montgomery (1989) documents, there have been a number ofcontext because Canadians have received American television for along time. It may be that Canadian lack of experience and exposureto certain elements of American society make them more susceptibleto or disposed to developing stereotypical images about them. Forexample, because of demographic differences in the 'minority'constitution of each country (Canada's Black population isrelatively small compared to the United States), it may be thatCanadian viewers will develop a negative stereotype of BlackAmericans and their status in American society.52grassroots attempts to influence television industry elites(producers, directors, writers, etc.) to incorporate favourabletreatment of diverse characters and issues into programming(women, "racial" and ethnic "minorities", the aged, gays andlesbians, etc.). These attempts have met with varying success.Another approach to changing the face of television wouldinvolve giving the public greater access to televisionproduction and programming. In this way, the community creatingtelevision images and issues is broadened considerably and morelikely to bring to it a more diverse perspective than has beenthe case to date.To provide theoretical and empirical substantiation ofthese assumptions, the following section will illustrate thecase of "minority" status and participation on television asboth a shaper of, and response to, "minority" status andparticipation in society. "Minorities" are oftenunder-represented or misrepresented on television and there issome indication that such portrayals affect their functioning insociety negatively for a number of reasons. Because thetraditional television industry has not offered "minorities"positive treatments of characters, issues and concerns, theimportance of an alternative to mainstream television is thatmuch more important. Public access television is one suchalternative. It would allow individuals and groups autonomousaccess to the production and programming of characters, issuesand ideas with personal import. By considering the current53democratic and educational opportunities of television in lightof "minority" populations, the scope and function of currenttelevision for all of North America will be outlined.Television Representation In 1975, The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (a U.S.agency) sponsored research to look at television representationof "minority" groups. The result, Nancy Signorielli's (1985)Role Portrayal and Stereotyping on Television: an annotated bibliography of studies relating to television representation of women, minorities, aging, sexual behaviour, health and handicaps comprehensively demonstrates that these groups, and the issuesconcerning them are, indeed, under-represented and/ormisrepresented.Roles are created in direct relation to their usefulnesson television. The most numerous, and hence most usefulroles involve jobs, adventure, sex, power, and otheropportunities and chances in life. Like most resources,these values are distributed according to status andpower. Dominant social groups tend to be overrepresentedand over endowed, not only absolutely but even inrelation to their actual percentage in the realpopulation. Minorities are defined by having less thantheir proportionate share of values and resources,meaning less usefulness, less opportunities, and fewerbut more stereotyped roles. Underrepresentationsignifies restricted scope of action, stereotyped roles,diminished life chances, and under-evaluation rangingfrom relative neglect to symbolic annihilation (xii).More recent studies remain consistent with Signorielli'sbibliography, and the generalizations made from it. There hasbeen little change both in the way that "minority"representation is determined, and in the nature and scope oftelevision portrayals of "minorities".54Content analysis has been the primary method used tomeasure "minority" representation in media. These studiesidentify certain significant characteristics (gender, age,"race", ethnicity, sexual orientation, philosophicalorientation, etc.) and count the number of times characters withthese characteristics appear in a particular medium over aperiod of time. More detailed analyses can be achieved when"minority" appearances are categorized in some specific way(i.e. dominant or subordinate role, hero or villain, speaking orsilent, attached to violent or nurturant behaviour, etc.).While individual "minority" groups are usually stereotypedor represented in specific ways, it is safe to say that white,middle-class, heterosexual, able-bodied males are considered the"norm" or "standard" on television. It is this norm againstwhich other characters appear, are measured, and don't quiteseem to measure up (Segger, Hafen & Hannonen-Gladden, 1981;Evuleocha & Ugbah, 1989; Steeves, 1987). This "norm/standard"is a construction based on the fact that white male televisionroles are greater in number, authority and status than those ofother characters. Oddly enough, the construction appearsnatural; but, is it? Do the demographics and images of NorthAmerican society portrayed by television accurately reflectthose found in real society? If not, what are the portrayals,what is the purpose of such portrayals, and should some effortbe made to change them?Content analyses over the years have shown that television55representations of "minorities" come nowhere close to the "real"demographics of North American society. Generally, femalescomprise 51% of the North American population and"racial"/ethnic "minorities" comprise 60% of the totalpopulation (1991 U.S. Census, 1992 Canada Yearbook and WorldAlmanac). On television these numbers are not upheld, and when"minorities" are depicted, it is often done through stereotypicroles and situations which do not necessarily reflect thesegroups' actual contributions to society.Colle (1968) determined that between 1930 and 1940representations of African-Americans in all U.S. media (film,print, radio, etc.) were "distinctly negative" withrepresentations between 1940 and 1960 falling to such a degreethat Blacks were practically not represented. In 1962, a Blackperson could be seen on television once every 2.5 hours(Plotkin,1964). Greenberg and Mazingo's (1976) replication ofan earlier content analysis done by Dominick and Greenberg(1970) showed that the representation of Blacks on U.S.television had improved numerically between 1967 and 1973,increasing from 4% to 14% in ads and 34% to 43% in televisiondramas. Half of all shows between 1970 and 1975 "contained atleast one Black character" (326). A 1980 study found thatethnic males outnumbered ethnic females by three to one forBlack portrayals and by five to one for Hispanic portrayals(Greenberg). Asian, East Indian and Native American portrayalsoccur even more rarely and tend to be more stereotypical56(Williams, 1986).In a content analysis of prime-time television on CBCEnglish (CBCE), CTV, NBC and PBS, Jackson, Travis, Williams andPhillips (1986) found that 66% of the programming containedethnic "minorities" but only 13% of it (9% of programming)contained these characters in prominent roles. It found alsothat most^programs portrayed^t h e"powerful/authoritative/knowledgeable" as non-ethnics: rangingfrom 91.2% on CBCE to 68.6% on PBS. Three of the six programswhich showed ethnic "minorities" in this role were on PBS withthe total percentage of shows being 4.7%. Significant findingsin this study showed that Canadian networks' programming tendedto show ethnic characters with strong ethnic identification ina negative light or having trouble functioning in society. Thisis not to say that American television's representations are notsimilar, they just seem to have a lesser degree and amount ofthese kinds of portrayals.News and informational programming has not necessarily beenmore favourable to "minorities". On the one hand, these mediawere perhaps the first to give "minorities" serious treatment.On the other hand, news media have tended to under-represent andmisrepresent "minorities" through the way news is gathered,framed and structured (Ungerleider, 1991a; Gitlin, 1980).Chicanos, Blacks and other ethnic and "racial" "minorities" areoften represented in news media as chronic perpetrators of crimeand the cause of other domestic problems such as unemployment,57shortages of housing, etc. (Gutierrez, 1978; Hall, Critcher,Jefferson, Clarke & Roberts, 1978; Knopff, 1975; van Dijk,1987b). Downing (1980), in looking at British and Africantelevision, found that Blacks rarely have the opportunity toexpress their opinions in media. Instead, the media are filledwith the opinions of white, male "experts", called in to readthe situations at hand. Even when "minority" viewpoints aresolicited, they are often distorted to reflect a dominantperspective (Harriet Walden, personal communication, June 1991).Women are also under-represented and misrepresented inNorth American television. Studies covering differenttelevision genres found that, nearly across the board, women areexcluded and under-represented from television content,production and programming. They are relegated to, and seemobsessed with, traditional family roles [and their sexualattractiveness]; employed women are subordinate to men and intraditionally female occupations; they are more passive thanmen; and the women's movement is distorted or ignored bytelevision. Women are particularly absent from, or stereotypedin, children's cartoons and all advertising whether directed atwomen or children. In these situations male characters and malevoice-overs predominate (Butler & Paisley, 1980; O'Kelly, 1974;Dohrman, 1975; Signorielli, 1985; Streicher, 1974). Gallagher(1981) points out that between 1954 and 1980, the representationof women as measured in the percentage of female characters hasdecreased from 34% to 28% (38). More recent studies corroborate58these findings (Robinson, 1989; Steeves, 1987; Byars, 1987)although women are being shown in more out-of-the-home settings(Ferrante, Haynes & Kingsley, 1988).There are many drawbacks to content analyses -- the primaryone being that quantity is not quality. Streicher (1974)demonstrates this in her content analysis of weekend morningcartoons on American stations. In cartoons where females areequal to or outnumber males, they continue to occupy roles whichportray them as subordinate to and romantically obsessed with(or disgusted by) their male colleagues (126). Another drawbackto this type of research is that when more detailed andsubjective information is sought (i.e. motives behind acharacter's behaviour, how a character is perceived by othercharacters, etc.) not only are there no objective criteria, butapplying them is a subjective process. In the followingexplanation of method in Jackson et al.'s (1986) contentanalysis of ethnic portrayal on major Canadian networks, notehow different coders might have different thresholds of "enoughinformation" to significantly affect whether a character wouldbe considered ethnic or not:In keeping with our philosophy of avoiding extremes ofmicro-level analyses, our analyses focused on individualsabout whom the program provided enough information toidentify their ethnic origin (as other than "mainstream"white). As the coder watched to program, he or she notedon a cover page the major characters in order ofappearance and starred those who were ethnic (2).Finally, in the climate of current social theory,simplistic categories used in earlier content analyses are no59longer valid. As social theory views society more as aplurality of intersections and articulations of specificqualities, histories and ideologies, it has tended to call forincreasingly particularized categories. Early content analyseslooked for representations of blacks, or women, or Asians --broad, homogenous categories. Now studies seek particularintersections of characteristics. Steeves and Smith (1987),undertaking a socialist feminist content analysis of prime timeAmerican television, sought to find how different articulationsof gender and class were portrayed in these shows (low, middleand high class females, and low, middle and high class males).Generally, they found that characters who were identifiablylower class were portrayed negatively. Women portrayed as highclass engaged less in domestic work and child-rearing. Lowerclass women were portrayed as sexually promiscuous or immoral.While a socialist feminist framework aspires to analyze classand gender as it intersects with "race"/ethnicity, the authorsacknowledge their own failure to do so in this context.'5Perhaps the most telling measure of the accuracy oftelevision treatments of "minorities" is the degree of"minority" concern with their treatment in the medium. KatherynMontgomery (1989), in her book Target: Prime Time illustrates15 This is a common occurrence with socialist feminist work.However, individuals who attempt these analyses must be commendedfor their willingness to engage in such difficult yet importantwork. In the case of media, more interpretive analyses have beenundertaken (for example, Press, 1991). However, the data hereshould be sufficient to indicate that television doesunder-represent and misrepresent "minorities".60how groups like the National Organization of Women (NOW), theNational Association for the Advancement of Colored People(NAACP), the League of United Latino Citizens (LULAC) andothers, have fought continuously for access and more favourablerepresentation. While this sort of action was at its heightduring the early seventies it has died down considerably becauseof changes in policy and protocol (i.e. the revocation of theFairness Doctrine or the modifications of station licenserenewal procedures). However, pockets of activism do remain.The Caplan Sauvageau Task Force on Broadcasting Policy (Canada,1986) reported that briefs submitted by cultural "minorities"expressed a great deal of concern over "stereotyping, unbalancedreporting and a lack of minority representation in mainstreambroadcasting" (537). Canada's MediaWatch, a non-profitorganization devoted to promoting employment and positiverepresentation of women in media; and the AdBusters MediaFoundation, an environmental/media strategy group, monitormedia and perform educative and lobbying functions. In Seattle,the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment, acoalition of organizations from 5 NorthWest states, monitors themedia for hate messages. In contrast to what many televisionindustry representatives might argue, these actions indicatethat what television has to offer is not necessarily what thepublic wants (Johnson, 1970; Montgomery, 1989).Dissatisfaction^with^television^representation^of"minorities" is not always directed at the media industry.61There is a strong move afoot in school systems for mediaeducation/media literacy. The premise is that since change onthe television screen will not be rapid, children and adultsshould be educated in order to look at programming critically.In this way, television consumers themselves will be empoweredby their ability to deconstruct discriminatory, stereotypicaland consumer oriented programming. Such efforts are onlybeginning to have an impact on Canadian and U.S. schools. Forexample, as of last year Ontario is the only province with aMedia Education mandate in Canada although media education hasbeen "in place" for a number of years (Greer, 1992:23).Why are stereotypes as pervasive as they are in thetelevision media, and how do they come to be? Kellner (1990)proposes the following:A variety of economic, political, and cultural factorshelp determine the trajectory of how various groups arerepresented in television entertainment. These includehow advertisers and the television networks perceive theconsumer power of various groups; the extent to whichgroups like blacks, women and workers are organized andforce media attention on their demands through politicalstruggle; and the extent to which representatives ofthese groups are active in media production and are ableto articulate their experiences and perceptions. Whetherimages of specific groups are present or absent, positiveor negative, is thus the result of a complex set offactors and influences (122).Like Kellner, Muir (1987) proposes that "minorities" (in thiscase, women) are denied access to key jobs in industry and,because of that, they are denied much deserved input into thecreation and production of media concerning and representingthem. A contrasting view can be found in the quarterly journal62Al-Raida where an anonymous author indicates that traditionalportrayals of Arab women persist even though a good number ofArab women work in the media (1984). However, the factors whichmediate their reticence, silence or total disinterest inproviding less traditional portrayals of women should be furtherinvestigated. van Dijk (1987) suggests that media reliance on"elite" sources of information and results in its tendency touphold dominant ideology and produce establishment-typeportrayals of "minorities". Ungerleider (1991a) also takes thisstance adding that news-gathering techniques and storystructures tend to result in stereotypic portrayals of"minorities". He argues that syndicated news sources and "pack"and "copy-cat" journalism result in narrow news content andperspective because primary (usually elite) sources areconsulted and interpreted once with other stories merelyreflecting the first interpretations. Stories are also oftenpresented as narratives which tend to simplify complexsituations into hero/villain dichotomies. As discussed earlier,concentrated media ownership and production may also encourageunder representation and misrepresentation of "minorities"(Herman & Chomsky, 1988; Schiller, 1976; Kellner, 1990; Eamon,1987; Hardin, 1985).The stereotypes usually derive from editors' andreporters' immediate work and social circles, and frompremises that filter through the organizationalhierarchy: from sources, peers, and superiors, onoccasion from friends and spouses, and from the moreprestigious media reports, especially those of the NewYork Times and the wire services. Journalists andexecutives may justify these images in terms of audience63interest...but they perceive the audience through aframe, darkly (Gitlin, 1980:267).One thread that connects most of these explanations ofstereotyping is that television discourse is an eliteproduction. While studies have been done to determine thenumber of "minorities" working in the television industry (Muir,1987; Astor, 1975), the conclusions only speculate as to whetherincreased "minority" production and programming people make adifference in the type of programming that results. There areinstances where "appropriate" "minorities" have been hired byproduction firms to consult on a show's content and treatment of"minority" roles and issues (Margiulies, 1981; Montgomery,1989). Again, it is difficult to say whether these actionsresult in less derogatory programs. It also raises a questionof the degree to which a person's "minority" identificationmakes him/her qualified to represent and articulate the desiresand qualities of a certain population. At the very least,someone hired in such a position cannot be aware of all of thediversity in his/her group.This treatment has focused on television representations of"minorities" although representations of violence, consumerism,youth and beauty culture, etc., could also have been considered.If one believes that television has educative and socializingpotential, then data such as these are compelling reasons tofurther examine what the effects of such representations are.Also, in light of the data which suggest "minority"participation in the television production process might temper64or alter some of these representations, public access television-- as the only participatory venue for the general public(including "minorities") -- seems an important site of potentialchallenge to these discourses.There is a growing interest in television as a site ofliberal resistance and positive social change (Giroux & Simon,1989; Lee, 1990). For example, Lee suggests that the Americansituation comedy Rosanne, "represents a form of resistance inpopular culture since it starts to nudge off-centre the dominantideologies of much mass entertainment". She argues that suchprogramming challenges traditional ways of thinking, howeverfragmentarily, and plants seeds for positive social change (20).This is good news indeed, and is certainly in keeping with thisthesis's attempt to find ways to diversity televisionprogramming. However, because this type of progressiveprogramming comprises only a meagre portion of traditionalprogramming, it seems hasty to laud the medium as a whole forthis promise of transformation. The data are clear thattelevision portrayals of "minorities" are generally stereotypicand unrepresentative. Rosanne and its high ratings provide thepromise that the diversification of television images andrelations is a positive and salable matter. There still is muchwork to be done.Television Effects Television both mirrors and leads society. What we seeon television reflects our own life experiences. Writerstake daily happenings and turn them into stories.Television is also a teacher. Research (controlled for65demographic characteristics) has consistently revealedthat those who watch more television tend to view manyaspects of the world as they are reflected on television.Therefore it is extremely important that televisionprograms eliminate stereotyping and underrepresentation(Signorielli, 1975:xviii).While cognitive and behavioral quantitative analysescontinue to dominate effects research, there is a distinct trendof "cultural" and "discourse" analyses emerging which tend tofocus on effects from a qualitative and more sociologicalperspective. As will be made apparent in this section, for anumber of reasons there is no conclusive television effectsresearch. Also, changes in the philosophical and methodologicalapproaches to this topic have resulted in a hiatus of effectsstudies in recent years. This discussion will focus more on thetheoretical bases of effects research in order to illustrate howthe effects on viewers of television portrayals, whether ofpeople or of violence, are explained in the current researchdebates.The research is fairly consistent in stating thattelevision does seem to have some influence on audienceperceptions and behaviours. There is less agreement about whatthe effects are and exactly how they are transmitted andprocessed. Historically, media was first thought to have a"hypodermic needle" effect on its audience -- media exposureaffected audiences directly and without consideration forspecific audience characteristics. This model was replaced inthe 1940s by a "two step flow" theory whereby audiences wereaffected by "opinion leaders who in turn influenced others" --66media being the vehicle through which opinion leaders wererepresented (Wartella & Reeves, 1985).A number of theories have been developed: selectiveexposure theory, schema theory, uses and gratifications theory,agenda setting theory, cultivation theory and discourse theory.Researchers comment that current methodologies cannot isolatemedia influences from the other social and cultural influenceson viewing subjects and, thus, measurement results. While itseems that no one theory can fully explain television effects,each contributes to knowledge about the process and effects ofmedia use. This thesis takes an integrated view of the effectsdebate and holds each of these positions correct to some degree.Selective exposure theories and uses and gratificationtheories are similar in that they suggest viewers use a medium'sinformation selectively, gravitating toward information orimages which are useful, pleasing or not prone to disturb one'ssense of placement in the world (Rosengren, Wenner & Palmgreen,1985 in Graber; Vidmar & Rockeach, 1974 in Wilholt & DeBock).Schema theory holds that people develop "scripts" or "plans"about how the world is, or should be, based on their previouspersonal experiences. Information which fits into alreadyformed schemata is easily assimilated and understood. However,contradictory information (when not sufficient to create a newschema) is either incorrectly remembered and used or ignoredaltogether (Williams, 1986; Singer, 1988; Hawkins & Pingree,1982).67Agenda setting theory focuses on the tendency of societiesto function in waves and pockets of similar opinion and demands.This theory argues that because certain depictions and issuesare prominent in media they are also given prominence in popularopinion and behaviour (Graber, 1989; McLeod, Becker & Byrnes,1974 in Steeves). Cultivation theory, or socialization theory,is similar to agenda setting except that it works from thepremise that the media actually shape reality or the way thatpeople "cultivate" their notions of themselves and others in theworld, not just the importance and content of particular topicalissues (Atkin, Greenberg & McDermott, 1983 in Graber p. 184 note10; Steeves, 1987; Gerbner & Gross, 1976; Gerbner, Gross, Morgan& Signorielli, 1980 in Steeves; DeFleur & Ball-Rokeach, 1989 inSignorielli, 1991; Keicolt & Sayles, 1988; Noble, 1975).Cultural and discourse analyses also depart from this premisebut have tended to be more conceptual.A discourse analytical approach to television effectsconsists of first looking at media discourses and what they sayabout a particular issue (as has been done regarding "minority"portrayal on television). These "texts" are to be examined todetermine what structural, emotional and cognitive premises theyare based upon. In effect, the structures in the texts reflect(and produce) those structures in society. Thus, such knowledgeabout the text can give insight into how a particular discourse68might be acquired, transmitted or reproduced. 16van Dijk (1987) using discourse analysis to determine how"racial" and ethnic prejudice is acquired and reproduced hasfound that a significant number of people attribute theirknowledge and beliefs to media influences. His data show thattelevision watchers are more prejudiced than newspaper readers,and people who have greater direct contact with diverse groupsseem to be less prejudiced than those with little contact(134)." People cite television personalities as sources ratherthan the television itself. And it is interesting to note thatthe highest prejudice scores were achieved by individuals citingother individuals as their sources of information. It may bethat as people become more comfortable with televisionpersonalities as "real" people within their homes, these sourceswill exert increased influence on the viewing public. However,the point is that,Most...prejudices are based on information derived fromvarious elite discourse types and/or their reproductionthrough the mass media. If we want to explore the social"origins" or "formulation places" for consensualattitudes about ethnic groups, we must look at thosegroups that have the power and control over, and the16 Elite discourse, by nature of being elite, is largelydiscriminatory.17 While van Dijk indicates that these findings may have classovertones -- newspaper readers have higher SES overall thantelevision watchers -- it would seem that the viewing quotient andthe contact quotient are at odds. Logically, lower SES people arelikely to have less education and prefer television over printmedia; increasing their viewing quotient. But van Dijk suggeststhat the inter-"racial" contact quotient of lower SES people ishigher than that of high SES people even though he indicates herethat contact and prejudice are negatively correlated.69access to, such discourse and reproduction types (376).In recent years we have seen an increase in empiricalcultural/discourse analyses (Press, 1991; van Dijk, 1987; Fiske,1989). Signorielli's description of cultivation analysesexplains the general empirical focus for agenda setting,cultivation and cultural/discourse approaches succinctly:In its simplest form cultivation analysis tries toascertain whether those who spend more time watchingtelevision are more likely to perceive the real world inways that reflect the most common and repetitive messagesand lessons of the television world, compared with peoplewho watch less television but are otherwise comparable inimportant demographic characteristics (87).Despite the differences in theoretical orientation andmethodologies of television effects studies, those that researchtelevision's effect on the production of discriminatoryattitudes and behaviours largely agree that there is somepositive correlation between these and television viewing.Although the information is far from consistent, a numberof scholars concur that in knowledge/experience areas wherepeople do not have a great deal of exposure or experience(family, school, etc.) television may be the one place wherethey have access to such information (Travis, et al., 1986;Williams, 1986; Noble, 1975). If this is the case, then whichdiscourses predominate and what their content consists of havesignificance for their educative and/or socializing power.When audiences have direct or vicarious experience toguide them, and particularly when they have alreadyformed opinions grounded firmly in personal values, theyare far less likely to be swayed by the media. Inpractice, this means that the least informed and leastinterested are most likely to reflect the viewpoints70expressed^in^the^media,^particularlytelevision....Although people can and do form opinionsindependently of many issues, particularly thoseconcerning local problems, complete independence isimpossible. Rarely do they have enough information andunderstanding to form their own views about all nationaland international issues that confront them inbewildering succession. This puts people at the mercy ofthe media, not only for information, but also forinterpretation. Even when people think that they areforming their own opinions about familiar issues, theyoften depend upon the media more than they realize(Graber, 1989:154).This is true in the case of "minorities" themselves.Television affects "minority" viewers sense of self esteem,their sense of place in the world, their social andcareer/economic aspirations and their perceptions ofinterpersonal relations (Berry, 1979, 1981; Staples & Jones,1985; Ogbu, 1978; Stroman, 1984; Peterson-Lewis & Adams, 1990,Press, 1991). Berry approaches this research from an American"racial"/ethnic standpoint indicating that because "minority"children watch a proportionately greater amount of televisionand are disproportionately represented, they may be affectedeven more greatly. If the productive power of television isthis insidious, then the U.S. Kerner Commission's (NationalAdvisory Commission on Civil Disorders) 1968 report indicating,in no uncertain terms, that biased media representations ofBlacks contributed to the racial discrimination and unrestprevious to and during the 1960s comes as no surprise. Nor doassertions that the communications industry discriminatesagainst oppositional, critical or politically chargedprogramming (Herman & Chomsky, 1988; The AdBusters Media71Foundation, 1992; Evuleocha & Ugbah. 1989). 18There is no doubt that stereotypical characterizationstend to especially vitiate the self-image of minoritygroups while bolstering the dominant culture'sself-image. Self-esteem, thus, resembles a valuableresource that TV takes from groups that need it most andgives to those that need it least. Although it is notthe preoccupation of this paper to examine the powerramification of this arrangement, it is predictable thatattempts to regain some of this exploited self-esteem canbe viewed as a major impulsion behind the demand forsocial ethics and justice (Evuleocha & Ugbah,1989:202-203).These data should be sufficient to support thecontention that television has productive and educational powerand thus should be a social concern. However this is not thecase. It is a striking feature of television effects researchthat for all of the study undertaken since the introduction ofthe technology, prominent communications scholars continue toreport that findings are inconclusive, or at least so dependentupon the particular circumstances of viewing and each viewerthat little can be generalized to wider populations as asserted,for example, by Graber (1989) and Press (1991). Even so,researchers continue to explore this much contested and muchinvested area in the face of disagreement about how problemsshould be approached theoretically, methodologically, and withthe financial backing of divergent interests.^This latterconsideration is significant.^Because television is such aprofitable market and an important venue for public influence,18 In the case of "minority" issues, their mere presentationmight be considered by the conservative media as politicallycharged.72research orientation and findings are of utmost importance.Television effects findings, perhaps, have more political thanscientific import.It should be noted as well that academic effects researchon television may or may not affect the television industry.The communications industry has a well-developed research anddevelopment component of its own which undertakes extensivemarket analyses, ratings polls and other formal measurementsbased on economic rather than social goals (Comstock, 1989). 19Its use for academic, often critical, research is limited. Buteven if scholars would or could conclusively say that televisioneffects are a serious social concern, how could the publicmodify the material that is shown on television? AsMontgomery's (1989) research has shown, public pressure, oftenbacked by research, has done little to change production andprogramming practices.While the research on television's portrayal of"minorities" conclusively shows that they are under-representedand misrepresented on television, research on television effectsare much less conclusive -- a state of affairs that manyinterpret as television having little or no effect (Graber,1989). The call for ever more research has the effect ofturning the debate regarding television's force as a pervasiveand dominant discourse away from the effects of its ideological19 Canada does pay more attention to cultural/social issues onthe whole than the United States (Siegel, 1983; Peers, 1983; Cole,1983).73and hegemonic power to the more manageable but less politicallycharged debate on whether television programming has effects atall.Television salesmen cannot have it both ways. Theycannot point with pride to the power of their medium toaffect the attitudes and behaviour associated withproduct selection and consumption, and then take theposition that everything else on television has no impactwhatsoever upon attitudes and behaviour (Johnson,1970:26-27).7 4Television's Productive Power as Education Television does seem to be an educative force -- not onlydoes it socialize, people indicate that they use it to learn(Comstock, 1989: Press, 1991). 20 Even though television'seducative role is accepted and understood at an informal level,for some reason construing it as a type of formal educationrarely occurs. Disciplinary boundaries seem to maintain aconceptual chasm between the educational forces of televisionand the formal educational system. It is well worth arguingthat television is educational and should be considered -- atsome level -- a formal educational system. However, mostcurrent conceptions and amalgamations of television andeducation do not reflect this treatment. Rather they reflectthe less imaginative and limiting boundaries of treatment oftraditional disciplinary conceptions.Usually the integration of television and education isthought of in one of three ways: as educational television,educational media, or media education. When one combineseducation and television in the communications industry theresult is "educational television" - television developedexpressly for formally-defined educational purposes.Documentaries, how-to programs,^Sesame Street, languageprograms,^etc.^fall into this category.^Educational20 On the basis of Egan's (1983) discussion of distinguishingeducation as initiation into culture and socialization asinitiation into society, it is safe to say that television seems toperform both functions to some degree.75institutions have "educational media" such as videos, slides,software and other materials developed by teachers or commercialproducers to augment the formal educational curriculum.Educational institutions combine education and media under thecurricular heading "media education". Media education, or medialiteracy, is a modern media version of consumer educationwhereby students learn how media are made, upon what premisesthey are based, how they manipulate and are manipulated, and howstudents can master media rather than the other way around.Unfortunately, connections between media and education seem tobe limited to these distinctions.As Williams (1974) suggests, by accepting thesedisciplinary distinctions as they have developed, one accepts animplicit ideology. This may be why the lack of conclusivetelevision effects findings is not a major concern for thegeneral public. Because television is not considered aneducational medium, its curricula are not scrutinized. However,if it were considered a type of education, then its curriculawould be subject to greater public and professional attention(Johnson, 1970). This attention would likely result in a callfor diversification of the medium's images and messages as hasbeen the case in educational institutions.Americans receive decidedly more of their education fromtelevision than from elementary and high schools. By thetime the average child enters kindergarten he [sic] hasalready spent more hours learning about his world fromtelevision than the hours he would spend in a collegeclassroom earning a B.A. degree (Johnson, 1970:13).It should be noted that there are no standards for television's76curriculum. In comparing the professionalism and qualificationof the television industry with that of the teaching professionJohnson writes:[Teachers] will be giving [children] ideas, information,opinions, attitudes, and behaviour patterns that musthold them in good stead throughout life. We don't wantto trust their minds to any but the most skilful andresponsible of hands. Contrast these concerns andstandards, if you will, with those we associate withbroadcasters, with their access to millions of youngminds for far more hours every year (183-84).Public access to television could provide one way for diversityto enter the television set.Berry (1979 & 1981), Graber (1989) and Zonn (1989) arethree individuals whose work does integrate television andeducation in a way that supports the conceptual base of thisthesis. Berry (1981) argues that television is an "unplannedsocial curriculum". Specifically, television teaches about"class, status and roles" and other individual differences inour society in ways that other socializing and educative forcesdo not. Graber and Zonn suggest, in different ways, thatteachers are significantly affected by media and tend to pass onideas and conceptions that may develop from these sources totheir students. Not only does television have effects but thoseeffects may be reinforced, and thus compounded, by teachers andother primary socializing units such as family and peers. Itwill be useful to examine each of these perspectives separately.Berry (1981) attempts to equate television programming with77educational curriculum. 21 He defines curriculum as "a set oflearning experiences or activities in which the learner isinvolved...planned and supervised by a person trained tofunction in this role" (78). It is easy to see how thisdefinition applies to formal education. Curricula are designedand implemented by educational professionals such as teachers,administrators and educational consultants in the context of aneducational system. This system is composed of local,provincial/state and federal bureaucracies developed to set andoversee the educational policy which governs curricula.Educational goals and objectives are largely based ontraditional notions about the function of education (humancapital, moral development, socialization) as well as trendsbased on demographic, social, political and economic climates.This definition of curriculum and its social context lendsitself quite well to the television industry. Televisionprograms are designed and implemented by televisionprofessionals such as writers, producers, directors andtechnical staff in the context of a television/communicationssystem. This system is comprised of local, regional andnational technologies and bureaucracies developed to set andoversee broadcast policy which governs programming.Television/communications policy goals and objectives arelargely based on traditional notions about the function ofzi In explaining Berry's argument, I have taken it a bitfarther than he has.78television broadcasting (entertainment, education, advertisingprofits) as well as trends based on demographic, social,political and economic climate.Berry (1981) describes the television curriculum as"unplanned". In this way, he suggests it is not like aneducational curriculum or institution -- "committed to tailoringthe material to the age-specific needs of children, thoseobjectives which permit certain content to be absorbed, and tothe clear utilization of role models deemed appropriate by thisagent of socialization" (79). Rather, Berry acknowledges thatcommunications systems are constructed and developed on thebasis of market forces -- a television curriculum's primeobjective is to draw a large audience for the sake ofadvertisers and to promote values of consumerism. From the waythat Berry presents the values underlying the market it wouldseem that they are uncoordinated, ungrounded and independentforces which have little to do with social, political orcultural interests. Of course, this is not the case becausethere are very real forces and interests that are served thoughthe medium. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call thetelevision curriculum "informal" rather than "unplanned" becausebroadcast policies do affect the shape of television technologyand programming. True, the decision-making processes andoutcomes of the bureaucratic system governing television is notmade as public as that of the educational system. However, theform and content of television which is very highly planned and79regulated through federal, local and industry broadcast policiesis based on social, political, and cultural interests as well aseconomic ones.Graber (1989), speaking about the political socializationof children, and Zonn (1989), on the portrayal of foreigngeographic places, are both concerned with where teachers gettheir information, how and to whom they pass it along. Grabertouches on the subject only in passing: "The people who teachchildren rely heavily on mass media for much of the informationand values that they transmit" (150). In conjunction with theamount of television that children consume daily, she suggeststhat this double dose of media-based information and values hassignificant socializing effects. Zonn attempts to deconstructthe discourses which influence people's knowledge of geographicplaces and, in doing so, suggests that media representations,whether prose, map, television or magazine picture, aresignificant in both educators' and students' placeunderstanding. Again, considering that people use television asa primary source of information, place portrayals in this mediumare likely to be a primary source of reference for geographic,and other, information. Zonn's work corroborates Graber'scontention that media directly influences individuals, but alsoaffects the primary agents of traditional education andsocialization sites such as schools and social groups.By blurring the distinction between media and education andthus drawing attention to how much influence the "informal"80television curriculum may have on individuals, as well as on theeducational system, these three conceptual positions require arethinking of why television and education have beenconceptualized as separate or only mildly connected entities.This perspective also makes television effects research moreurgent, especially as regards the need to diversify the kinds ofprogramming available on television. Because televisionproduction and programming rests primarily in the hands of agovernment and business elite, diversification, in part, meansdiversifying access to these processes. It also meansdiversification in the content and images shown.Primarily, the public has had access to professionalprogramming after its production. Such access is regulatory,not creative. Rather than being able to act and create one'sown discourses, this type of access only affords the publicreaction to ideas and products generated by an "other" (althoughthe group's input may have shaped the outcome in someinstances). This type of reaction to the television mediaindustry precludes a proactive stance on widespread publictelevision access and self-determination. In the case of"minorities", media monitoring and lobbying efforts rely on along-term goal -- that they will be more fairly represented inprogramming content and production communities as the industryresponds to watchdog complaints. However, since the goal ispremised on a liberal notion of change through the justapplication of the law, this goal does not question the81constraints, or violence, of the structure -- structuraldiscrimination. Le Duc (1987) address this issue in hisdiscussion of whether increased local control of media should besought (American context):To contend that such an extension of local jurisdictionis an unconstitutional infringement of the free-speechrights of these media is simply to say that as of themoment the courts have not yet developed the capacity toevaluate the conflicting interests of the communicatorand the community to an extent where a sophisticatedassessment of their relative rights in these situationsis possible....Recognition of positive rights such ascitizen access may come more slowly than recognition ofpolice-power authority over communications content;however, as judicial principles evolve, it may bepossible to find another legal basis for governmentsupervision of media service to the public that extendsbeyond spectrum scarcity to reflect the legalresponsibility based on the actual degree of influencethese services exert on our society (187).Efforts have to be made to monitor and effect long-termchange in current television structures so that local andnational public access is made more obtainable and has a broaderreach. Direct access to television production and programmingwould give "minorities" more control over the images, contexts,voices and messages attributed to people with "salientcharacteristics". If the public's access to television isincreased, there is no guarantee that problems of representationwill cease. In fact, they may multiply as viewers are exposedto the numerous forms of stereotyping and discrimination thatoccur in minority population's discourses. However, televisionaccess can give disfranchised segments of the population a wayto begin (re)claiming their presence in and contribution tosociety. Policy provisions for access give some control over82the first steps of that reconnection.For meaningful change to take place in the broadcastindustry, Blacks must bring about their own culturalrestitution. This means that they must have entry to themedia to enhance their intra-community , and well astheir inter-community communications. They must alsohave the opportunity to portray the distinctive characterof their own lifestyle without the muddled distortionsthat often emanate from the White perspective of theBlack world (Hill in Evuleocha & Ugbah, 1989:204).Broadcast Alternatives What alternatives are there that would provide the generalpublic access to television production and programming outsideof network broadcast television?Public television, such as the Canadian BroadcastingCorporation (CBC) and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), areconsidered government and industry alternatives to commercialtelevision. These networks primarily air material that can becategorized as Western "high culture" (ballet, opera, theatre,etc.) as well as a fair smattering of multicultural andeducational programming. The CBC is federally funded while PBSis reliant on private grants and listener contributions. Thesepublic networks often use independently produced programs;however, funding is tight and competition is stiff. 22Educational television usually falls under the purview ofthese public broadcasting entities, although there are instanceswhere monies are provided at the provincial/state level for such22 Canada devotes more government money to independent film,television and video production through the National Film Board andsimilar sponsoring agencies. Although some government money isavailable, American artists rely primarily on private grants(Gillespie, 1975).83programming. British Columbia's Knowledge Network or Seattle'sCablearn operate in this capacity, developing and airingeducational programming which is targeted primarily at youngeraudiences. Such programming is often quite progressive.Information, whether about people, places or concepts, ispresented clearly and often in a multicultural context. In thateducational programming does provide some of the bestrepresentation and treatment of "minorities" and their cultures,especially for children, it is one of the most importantelements of the television industry today. However, becauseprograms are developed by media professionals, it still does notprovide the unmediated public access to television productionand programming with which this thesis is concerned.Local affiliate broadcast stations do undertake someoriginal programming. However, because studio production isleast costly and most efficient, newscasts, information orientedtalk shows and studio variety shows dominate the offerings.Some "minorities" produce their own material and air it duringtime bought with their own resources to serve the specificinformational, economic, and entertainment needs of theircommunity (Korean Business Assoc., personal communication, June1991). While hiring a professional production firm is the bestway to develop a good-looking product, costs are prohibitive.While some "minority" groups are buying their own networks, thishas occurred in a limited manner -- the Black EntertainmentNetwork (BET) out of Los Angeles and Canada's Inuit Broadcasting84Corporation (IBC) are two successful examples. However, mostindividuals and groups have neither the resources nor theability to develop the resources for either of these two typesof access.Cable systems also have "minority" channels or "minority"programming. While these provide much needed first language andethnic programming -- as well as an advertising venue forspecialty shops and services for these communities -- again, theprogramming is usually not developed autonomously by the localcommunities. For example, Roger's Vancouver cablecasts Italianlanguage news that comes from Italy's government network, RAI.Usually the public is given access to commercial televisioneither through news or public service announcements (Gitlin,1980; Montgomery, 1989).the "minority" group. Itas to which news storiesthe stories and contentcamera people, editorsNews access affords limited control tois the network's or station's decisionwill be pursued. In their development,are framed and mediated by reporters,and other journalistic and technicalstaff. As in the case of the Seattle-based group "MothersAgainst Police Harassment", an African-American group to curtailpolice brutality against Black youth, television coverage hasbeen unfavourable in that it has not advanced the organization'smore important issues in the manner that the organization itselfwould have them presented. This occurred even when theorganization was solicited by a commercial television station toprovide information (Harriet Walden, personal communication,85June 1991). Clearly, this is an unsatisfactory arrangement ifthe public seeks any kind of control over the product. Also,access is not guaranteed and is dependent upon the time line andpriorities of the newsroom.Public service announcements are short informationalparagraphs that provide short, out-of-context, superficialinformation about the group and its concerns or activities.These are usually presented as a "voice-over" on the trailer ofa television show or as a type of advertisement. The text ismost often created by a group and submitted to the station muchas a news release is to a newspaper. While public serviceannouncements are the most widely available and utilizedcommercial television access route, they cannot be said toprovide the kind of access and diversity under consideration inthis thesis.It is the public access channel on local cable stationsthat provides the most affordable, expeditious and autonomousaccess to television production and programming that the publichas available to it yet. In both countries, most cablelicensees are required to provide local, free production to thepublic along with training and assistance in their use.Publicly created programs are cablecast on a specificallydesignated community channel.Public access television is one of the few real forms ofalternative television, and it provides the best prospectfor using the broadcast media to serve the interests ofpopular democracy.... Indeed, the rapid expansion ofpublic access television in recent years has created newopportunities for progressives to counter the86conservative programming that dominates mainstreamtelevision (Kellner, 1990:207)."Community access television is perhaps the only componentof our media system at present that could allow allconsumers of the medium to also participate in thecreation of the content. And widespread citizeninvolvement in the development and flow of information,ideas and cultural expression is a criterion for ademocratic communications system and a democratic society(Goldberg:106).Among all the television venues, public access is assuredonly on cable community access channels. There, the public'sinterest and need to have some control over television are beingaccommodated daily. With little or no access to mainstreamtelevision, community television is one way that the public canbegin to challenge, to some degree, the elite, discriminatory,ideological and hegemonic discourses apparent in the bulk oftelevision programming.Public Access Television It is no coincidence that public access to television,under the rubric of democratic expression and participation, wasfirst seen in policy documents in 1971 and 1972. At this timegovernment authority was seriously in question. Civil rights,the Vietnam war, the Quebec Separatist Movement -- all of thesewere public efforts to challenge and de-legitimize traditionalgovernment actions and structures. Both the public and themedia were struggling to reconcile the old with the new. Forexample, for the first time in history government efforts to23 From the perspective of policy, Kellner's placement ofpublic access television in a broadcast technology is incorrect.This is a commonly made mistake.87contain public unrest through coercion and force could be seen,in colour, on television."When mass movements mobilize, the routine procedureswork, in a sense, too well; by amplifying theunpalatable, destabilizing news, they arouse politicalopposition in high places and threaten the network'spolitical position. Those are the moments when the mediamanagers intervene for political purposes, precisely to change the standard frame. Outside political authoritiesmay themselves intervene to force the change if it is notforthcoming spontaneously" (Gitlin, 1980:211).In order to retain social order and control during thattime, government had to either accommodate dissenting segmentsof the public or co-opt them. A binding policy provision forpublic access to television -- a concession which encouragedpublic exchange of ideas and public participation in television-- was one strategy undertaken to achieve these ends. Thedecision to require public access to television was asignificant and symbolic exercise of government power. Thishappened in Canada and the United States concurrently.By creating these policies, each government began tochallenge the communications industry's unfavourable coverage,sought to accommodate the needs and regain the support of thepublic, and generally worked to maintain its legitimacy in atime of unrest and uncertainty. Whether the intent was toaccommodate the public's need for grassroots communication in avery real way, or whether it was to provide a safety valvethrough which the public could vent its frustration and dissentin a controlled and limited medium is moot. The desired effectwas precipitated -- the public had real, but limited and88controllable, access.There has been very little research, or comment, on theadvent or impact of community television. In the 1960s and1970s there was a spate of publications which introduced the newvideo technologies available to the public as well as thepotential of cable technology as a medium for popular expressionand education." It is safe to say that these kinds ofpublications were partially responsible for the movement thatresulted in the securing of public access provisions. However,since that time very little has been published at all.Goldberg's (1989) book, The Barefoot Channel, is the onlybook devoted entirely to the subject of community televisionsince the 1970s in either Canada or the United States.Goldberg's is a description of the history and current status ofcommunity television in Canada -- its potential as aparticipatory medium and specifics about how interested groupsand individuals can use it to their advantage. It is adescriptive, rather than analytical piece written in popularform to compliment its populist spirit.I undertook an informal count of news and journal articleswritten on public access television (found through CD ROM News,Business and Humanities indices). There were 13 articleswritten specifically on community television between 1983 and24 See Cable Television in the Cities: community control, public access and minority ownership edited by Charles Tate (1971),the serial publication Radical Software, or Chambers and RaindanceCorporation's Guerrilla Television are excellent examples of thiskind of material.891990! These articles fall into three broad categories: 1)public relations for cable stations who provide communitytelevision, 2) uncritical populist support for the democraticand educational uses and possibilities of the public accesschannel, and 3) marginally critical concern regarding thechannel's funding or its content (white-supremist shows, animalrights shows, pro-life shows, etc.). From the findings in thesepopular indices, it seems that public access is neither onjournalists' nor the public's mind.There has been some, but very little, systematic researchabout the community channel. Most of this research has beenundertaken by cable trade organizations for use in lobbying andlicense/franchise renewals. However, the CRTC itself undertooka survey of community television in 1978. The FCC has neverattempted to study public access television.It is safe to say that Canadian surveys of communitytelevision are surveys of cable industry personnel -- not thegeneral public. Any information on public access to televisionhas been compiled from cable licensee responses toquestionnaires. This is the case regarding the CRTC's 1978survey, the CCTA's 1990 survey and Goldberg's (1989) researchfor her book. In the United States, the NFLCP, the NationalClearinghouse for Community Cable Viewership Research andAmerican Television and Communications have surveyed cableviewers about their general cable habits, including questionsabout community channel use. This information is either not90made readily available to the public or costly fees are chargedfor the materials if one is not an organization member. It alsodoes seem to be widely used in cable system's promotionalmaterials. The result is a virtual information void on thereach and use of community television.Scowcroft, Public Access Director at Seattle's TCI,indicates that surveys of the public's preferences as regard thecommunity channel are of little importance to cable franchisees.This is because public access television is a service for thecommunity producer, not the community viewer (personalcommunication, 7 April, 1992). This may be the reason that mostAmerican statistics for community television are usuallyinferred from basic subscriber statistics or formulae such as"it is estimated that for every viewer who responds to aprogram, at least 500 others watched" (Benton Foundation,1990:7).As indicated above, Canadian statistics are based onreports from cable staff, not the general public. In 1978 theCRTC undertook a Survey of the Community Channel. It surveyed435 cable systems by sending a questionnaire which did not callfor any open answers -- pre-developed statements were to berated on a Likert Scale or the subject was expected to pick oneof a number of statements to represent his/her opinion. Justover 200 systems returned the questionnaire, less than half ofthe cable industry, and these responses were used to paint thestatistical picture of community television in Canada. This91information indicates how much programming was generated in a 24hour period, but not whether it was locally originated or anon-community program, etc. The majority of the cable employeeswho responded to the questionnaire felt that the communitychannel should be run by members of the community with the cablesystem providing the facilities. However, there is noindication of the community's preference on this issue.Generally, the statistical categories that have to do withspecific types and uses of community channels are not sensitiveenough to provide conclusive information about "minority"programming, what groups produce it, what the response to it is,etc. While such information could be determined from cablelicensee logs, to date such research has not been pursued.Generally, the findings are so broad and business oriented thatspecific cultural information is neither provided nor pursued.Even in books on communications, broadcasting and the cableindustry public access is discussed only in passing (e.g. Dolan,1984; Babe,televisiondiscussion.broadcasters,attention isBecause public access is not a primary concern ofcable systems or even the general public,not directed toward it. Cable's educational uses,1975). Brief and descriptive mention that communityexists is provided, but there is little furtherits potential for profit, its threat to broadcastingjurisdiction and profits -- these are the issues which receiveattention.Recent attention on cable public access has focused on its92democratic and/or oppositional potential. Kellner (1990) andGoldberg (1989) argue that community television is one necessaryalternative with which to challenge the ever-encroaching elite,capitalist, hegemony that is currently eroding democraticcommunications systems and democracy in general.Commercial ownership and control result in a broadcastingsystem biased toward the class that owns and controls it,thus excluding oppositional voices andcriticism. . . .Capitalism and democracy invariably comeinto conflict with each other and...it is now necessaryto reinvigorate a rapidly deteriorating public sphere topreserve democracy in the United States (180).The problem with positions like this is that they uncriticallyaccept that community television is, in practice, what it is intheory -- that access will be afforded to all members of thepublic when requested; that people will watch the channel; andthat the programs will affect and influence viewers in a mannerthat counters the ideological and hegemonic discourses one isexposed to daily -- on television and off. 25 Such treatmentsmay be critical of broadcast television or its current socialcontext; however, they do not problematize public access itself.In "Reconceptualizing Public Broadcasting", Salter (1988)critically responds to the policy recommendations of the CaplanSauvageau Task Force regarding the definition and role of publicbroadcasting in Canada. She argues that the Task Force 1)conflated public broadcasting and participatory access -- two25 Even this thesis assumes this populist position to somedegree. However it is not assumed without a generous measure ofcaution and reserve.93substantively different animals -- and 2) did not address thedegree to which the CRTC allows the private sector to define andcontrol the public's access to the medium.Salter problematizes the notion of access by arguing thatthe very term itself represents the paternalistic stance of anelite government and the lack of control and agency afforded thepublic.So when one speaks of access in the economic regulationof communication (as is appropriate under Americanlegislation), one refers to the special support orsubsidies granted to the information poor who otherwisecould not participate in the operating market system(238-239).She suggests that these concepts and relations be fundamentallyredefined and reconceptualized. Without such a change, the CRTC(which interprets federal broadcasting policy and regulatesaccordingly) would have no reason, or impetus, to change currentrelations.Regulatory agencies draw upon a legacy of assumptions andmethods of regulation that shape how they relate to theregulated industries...there is little scope for theregulator to treat some of those industries...on afundamentally different basis from others, or to applydifferent standards. As a result, the regulatory systemitself raises questions about the legitimacy of thepublic sector subsidies or its general interest service,and deflects attention away from its distinct objectives(237-238).This thesis raises similar issues.Currently, the Canadian and American public has access onlyto cable community television. In order to understand theefficacy of community television's ability to provide access totelevision, the following two chapters will outline the94historical roots and current structure of those communicationspolicies and policy documents which make provision for publicaccess to television. In this treatment, the historical contextof developing broadcast and cultural policies will be outlinedand used to frame the analysis of these provisions in light oftheir philosophical and ideological foundations. Two casestudies will provide a practical context for whether and to whatdegree the intent of the community television provisions arecarried out. The limits to public access will be outlined andthe implications of such limits will be discussed.95CHAPTER FOURTHE CANADIAN CONTEXTPolicies Governing Public Access to Television The Text can be approached, experienced, in reaction tothe sign. The work closes on a signified. There are twomodes of signification which can be attributed to thissignified: either it is claimed to be evident and thework is then the object of literal science, or philology,or else it is considered to be secret, ultimate,something to be sought out, and the work then falls underthe scope of hermeneutics, of an interpretation (Marxist,psychoanalytic, thematic, etc.); in short, the workitself functions as a general sign and it is normal thatit should represent an institutional category of thecivilization of the Sign (Barthes:158).It is commonly held that access to and/or control of anation's communications network has strategic advantages.Communications technologies such as the intricate road system ofimperial Rome, Morse's telegraph system, the Marconi "wireless",satellite transmission, etc. have been continual sites ofpolitical, economic and ideological struggle for the diverseinterests of citizen, business and government -- sometimes inopposition and sometimes not. From the very start, the NorthAmerican general public has had limited access to wirelesscommunications technologies and transmissions.In the United States, the Radio Act of 1912 was passed tostop unregulated radio transmission by requiring licensure forbroadcasting. Although the bulk of wireless transmission atthis time was military in origin, there were numerous amateurs("hams") whose enthusiasm for the medium often crossed into andinterfered with official military business. The Act requiredthat all radio operators have licenses -- restricting many from96the air. Although this Act often went unenforced, it did set aprecedent of government regulation which, at the onset of theFirst World War, was ordered to full power by AssistantSecretary to the Navy Franklin D. Roosevelt. As a safetymeasure he ordered amateurs to seal their equipment whilegovernment took control of "privately owned shore installations"-- primarily American Marconi stations (Barnouw 1982: 17 - 19).This is how the American broadcasting system began -- withgovernment attempting to wrest wireless communications fromprivate interests. However, corporate patents ultimatelyallowed private interests to maintain control over the industry(Kellner, 1990: 28).Canada's early radio development roughly paralleled thatof the United States -- radio transmission was unregulated andavailable to everyone. However, the Canadian government hasbeen more disposed to consider the public in its policy-makingfrom the start. When the time came to regulate radiotransmissions, the Canadian government chose not to unilaterallyimpose a structure on the broadcasting system as had been donein the States. Although a public inquiry was set, the AirdCommission (1929), which resulted in a system quite differentfrom that developed in the United States, consideration of thepublic did not deter Canada from also adopting a regulatorystance early on.Canadian and American communications systems sharecommonalities and are, at the same time, fundamentally97different. For example, Figure 1 of the hierarchy and structureof the Canadian communications system can be generalized to theAmerican system (see page 33). However, the details of thesystem -- ownership, policies, jurisdiction -- are specific toeach country. This is also true of the policy structure.FIGURE 2Hierarchy of Current Policies and Policy DocumentsRegarding Public Access Provisionsin Canada and the United StatesCANADABroadcasting Act (1968)II1986 Cable TV RegulationsandCCTA Industry GuidelinesIIRogers Corporate PolicyIILicensee Policyand ProceduresUNITED STATES Communications Act (1934)II1984 CableCommunications ActISeattle City OrdinanceIFranchise AgreementandNFLCP Industry GuidelinesIICable Corporate PoliciesIIFranchisee Policyand ProceduresIn the case of public access, the opportunity to produceand "air" programs is afforded through a hierarchy of policies,one governing and making provision for the other. Bothcountries have Acts which govern the broadcasting system at thefederal level: Canada's Broadcasting Act and the Communications98Act in the United States. These Acts not only contain the broadgoals upon which the shape and function of the communicationssystem is based, they also make provision for and outline thecreation of regulatory bodies (CRTC in Canada and the FCC in theUnited States). Public access, because it falls under thejurisdiction of cable, is governed by sections of the Actsspecifically dedicated to cable issues. The regulatory bodiescreate and enforce rules to implement what has been proposed inthe federal Acts. These rules are either binding or act asguidelines for cable companies as they develop corporatepolicies. Industry guidelines, such as those developed by theCCTA or the NFLCP are also incorporated into corporate policy.Individual cable stations work from the corporate policies whichthey in turn use in the development of local system policies andprocedures. The general public are expected to comply withlocal system policies when utilizing public access facilities.There is little to suggest that Canada and the UnitedStates actively collaborated in the development of theirrespective broadcast policies, regulatory apparati andprocedures; yet there are striking similarities. Many of theseare a function of technological advances and some a result ofsocial and cultural factors such as the countries' physicalproximity, their economic relationship, their common dominantlanguage and the availability and/or persistence of Americancommunications products and interests in Canada. Provisions forpublic access to television and their placement in cable99technology is one such similarity. However, in depth analysisof the provisions shows that there is more dissimilarity thannot.In Canada and the United States public access was born outof the social struggle of the 1960s and 1970s.^The social,economic and political climates of both countries were rife withissues of civil rights, war, and the re-evaluation of thevalues, functions and status accorded established institutionsand the public. People wanted to speak out on a number ofissues and pressure was placed on both governments to providefora for such speech.^Initiatives such as "Challenge forChange" and public access television were developed for thisvery purpose. Since that time, the regulations governing accesshave changed and seem to indicate a modification in theunderlying assumptions about the purpose of such provisionsa move away from the initial populist and democratic premisesupon which the public argued for access. An historical look atsome of the issues in broadcast policy and regulation whichpertain to public access will provide a frame for current accessissues.^The balance of this chapter will pertain to publicaccess in Canada. This history and context of public access inthe U.S. will be treated in Chapter Five.Canada's Broadcast History and Public Access In 1929, the Aird Commission determined that Canada wouldbest be served by a two pronged broadcasting system, private andpublic, under the control of an autonomous but federally funded100regulatory body. This was the Aird Commission's way of ensuringa communications system, Canadian in control and content, in theface of encroaching American interests. By choosing a system offederal regulation over one of free market forces, Canada madea choice to support the cultural and nationalistic uses ofbroadcasting and mass media -- much as Britain had before it.The Aird Commission set out these initial conceptions ofbroadcasting and others in the 1936 Broadcasting Act. Even withmodifications to the Act in 1958, 1968, and 1986, the concernsof Canadian broadcasting have changed little.The debate surrounding the Aird report also set thepattern of a remarkably consistent series of recurringissues which have been as much a challenge to ourgeneration as they were to Aird's. Canadian programmingversus American, public ownership versus private, theresponsibilities of the public broadcaster versus thoseof the private sector, the subsidizing of culture versusthe protection of commercial interests (often called"culture industries"), the commercial needs of theprivate stations versus their national obligations,regulation of content versus freedom of expression,federal authority versus provincial, annual financing ofthe national broadcaster versus longer-term financing,technology versus programming as the driving force of thesystem (Caplan-Sauvageau, 1986:7).The regulatory body, although it has changed shape andtitle over the years, is now the Canadian Radio-Television andTelecommunications Commission (CRTC). It was formed in 1968 asa result of the new Broadcasting Act. This body regulates bothprivate and public broadcasting sectors as well astelecommunications (a responsibility added in 1976). The CRTCgathers input either through informal ongoing feedback andsubmissions or through calls for position papers etc. during101policy reviews. The general public is welcome to supply inputand make these submissions. In keeping with the AirdCommission's initial conception of an "arms-length" regulatoryagency, the CRTC is an independent body whose decisions ororders are also final and conclusive. The Broadcasting Act doesrequire that the CRTC make annual reports to Parliament and, onspecial occasions, follow directives issued by the Governor inCouncil.The 1936 Broadcasting Act explicitly states that: a) theradio frequencies such as those used for broadcasting, whetherused by private or public elements of the system, are public property; b) that "the Canadian system should be effectivelyowned and controlled by Canadians so as to safeguard, enrich andstrengthen the cultural, political, social and economic fabricof Canada"; c) that broadcasters, while fully responsible forthe material they air, have "freedom of expression" and viewershave a right of reception; d) that programming should provide"reasonable and balanced opportunity for the expression ofdiffering views on matter of public concern" and should use"predominantly Canadian creative and other resources"; e) thatbroadcasting should be in English and French as much as fundsallow; f) that there should be a national broadcasting service(CBC); g) that the CBC should provide balanced "information,enlightenment and entertainment" in English and French to allparts of Canada in order to "contribute to the development ofnational unity and provide for a continuing expression of102Canadian identity; h) that conflicts between the public andprivate prongs of the Canadian broadcasting system should beresolved in the public interest (read: in the interest of theCBC); i) that there should be educational broadcasting; j) thatthe broadcasting system be ready and responsive to technologicaladvancements; and k) that the broadcasting system be regulatedby the CRTC.This broadcasting policy supports an ideology of democracyand freedom of expression through its provisions for the publicownership and use of the airwaves, equality and justice throughits provisions for balance, and Canadian identity andnationalism through provisions for broadcasting in the nationallanguages and a Canadian content requirement. The educative andsocializing functions of broadcasting are recognized explicitlyin the Act's provision of formal educational broadcasting aswell as implicitly in its contribution to the "development ofnational unity".Logically, a Canadian public which owns the airwaves shouldhave access to them. This is especially the case in light ofprovisions that stipulate predominantly Canadian resourcesshould be utilized in the broadcasting system. Although the Actrhetorically supports public ownership and access tobroadcasting, reality does not bear this out. Canada makes noformal provision for public access to broadcast media, andcommercial broadcasters have no obligation to the public. Thissituation is the result of the legacy of policies and structures103developed in the early days of broadcasting. These havedeveloped in a context where technological limitations of radiofrequencies dictated the limits of the system.In the early 1920s, the regulating body, the Ministry ofMarine and Fisheries, distributed specific frequencies tobroadcasters through a licensing process (Lorimer & McNulty,1987). At this point, "the radio frequency spectrum [became]...a scarce resource to be managed in the public interest"(Peers, 1983:15) (5). Cable technology is not bound by a"scarcity rationale". The co-axial cable is able to carryanywhere from 12 to 60 channels at a time -- an amount that isstill increasing. In early deliberations about public access totelevision, the CRTC felt this technology's channel capabilitycould easily accommodate at least some public access. It wasalso felt that the decision to put public access in a cabletechnology might reduce popular pressure on the CRTC for use ofbroadcast frequencies. Thus, frequency distribution andregulation would be simplified. Public access would be affordedthrough a re-broadcast technology (1971 Cable Television PolicyReview).Thus, it was the advent of cable technology, as well as thetime period during which cable became available perhaps, thatpresented the technical means through which the public couldgain access to television production and programming. However,the critical force that made access a widespread possibility wasregulation for mandatory access.104Foundations and Ideology of Public Access Public access to television, although pursued informally byvarious stations since the 1950s, was first formally proposed inthe CRTC's 1975 Policies Respecting Broadcasting ReceivingUndertakings (1975 Cable Television Policies). These policieswere codified as the Regulations Respecting BroadcastingReceiving Undertakings which came into effect one year later(1976 Cable Television Regulations).The 1976 Cable Television Regulations' provision forcommunity television is simple: as a condition of licensure allbut the smallest cable stations must distribute communityprogramming on a community channel as part of their basicservice. The CRTC defined "community programming" as:...programming that is distributed by a licensee on itscommunity channel and produceda) by the licensee,b) with or without the assistance of the licensee, bymembers of the community or communities served by thelicensee,c) by another licensee or by members of the community orcommunities served by another licensee if suchprogramming is integrated into programming produced bythe licensee or by members of the community orcommunities served by it, 26d) by a network operator licensed by the Commission toprovide community programming to the licensee,and includes announcements promoting services that thelicensee is licensed to provide, public serviceannouncements, announcements promoting programstransmitted by Canadian stations and channelidentification announcements (Canada Gazette Part II,1975:3104).The 1975 Cable Television Policies outlined that licensees were26 This is commonly known as "bicycling" or distributing aprogram to other cable systems in order that it be cablecast in anumber of areas and receive wider distribution.105to provide facilities, training, distribution and financialsupport for this programming, were to actively seek theparticipation of the community, yet were liable for any materialcablecast on the channel.These are the provisions for public access in their mostbasic form as outlined in 1975. By requiring that cablestations originate programming at the community level withcommunity input and energy, the CRTC furthered the participatoryintent of the Broadcasting Act and invested cable licensees witha responsibility to invest financially and socially in thecommunity (1975 Cable Television Policies:2).The 1975 Cable Television Policies indicated that communitytelevision is based on three premises: 1) that it should providean alternative to current television service, 2) that it shouldprovide a way to animate the community and encourage itsparticipation in programming and production -- not only throughtechnical activity but also through advisory and feedbackactivity, and 3) that it should serve local communities. Thispolicy was premised on a philosophy of education and democraticresponsibility to community -- determinable, in part, from themanner in which community is defined. It is defined broadly asconnection, interaction and influence based on social, culturaland political interests and activities as well as on the moretraditional determinant of geographic boundaries.The concept of community is not necessarily related togeographic areas only. This is especially true of largeareas. There are communities of interest, for example,based on cultural background or arising out of common106endeavour. The communications needs of these communitiesextend to such matters as the exchanging of ideas,increasing of social and political awareness and thedispelling of the sense of isolation so prevalent inlarge urban centres (4).The democratic and educational tenor of the policy is alsoapparent in the licensees' responsibility to the community. Notonly did the policy require them to provide programming andproduction facilities, opportunities and training; they were toactively "seek out these communities of interest...and encouragethem to give expression of their interests and concerns"; "ideasand aspirations" [emphasis added] (4).Although citizen participation in community programmingis difficult to achieve, it is nevertheless the mostimportant element in distinguishing community programmingfrom traditional broadcast programming. Cable televisionlicensees have a unique opportunity and responsibility todevelop this type of programming...and providereasonable, balanced opportunity for the expression ofdiffering views on matters of public concern...[and]encourage the use of the channel for unusual ideas andopinions on the broadest range of subjects and give thecommunity the widest opportunity for self-expression (5).In these early days, the community channel was quiterestricted. Licensees were not allowed to distributeadvertising, motion pictures, broadcast or re-broadcast signals-- local community programming, including bicycled programs,constituted the channel's entire fare. To ensure that licenseeswere adhering to regulations, the CRTC required that theymaintain a comprehensive log of cablecast programs, who producedthem, how many times they were "aired", etc. The regulationsalso furthered educational and democratic ends by requiring thatcommunity channels provide equal time to political candidates,107and provide "reasonable balanced opportunity for the expressionof differing views" on matters of public concern (Sections 11 -14).The premises outlined here continue to form the skeleton ofthe current regulations and policies regarding communitytelevision although they have been eroded significantly throughsubsequent policy reviews and amendments to the regulations.The 1976 Cable Television Regulations were recodified in 1978and again in 1986. The 1986 Cable Television Regulations remainto date; however, numerous amendments have been made; the mostrecent being the 1991 Community Channel Policy. An overview ofthe specifics of community television policy and regulation in1975 and changes since then will clarify what particularprovisions have comprised community access and how they haveevolved.The ideology underlying public access provisions in the1975 Cable Television Policies can be traced broadly to twosources. The first is those sections of the Broadcasting Act of1936, quoted earlier, regarding public ownership andparticipation in broadcasting. The second source is the 1960sNational Film Board (NFB) project, "Challenge for Change"(Goldberg, 1990:12; Robinson, personal communication, 23 January1992). For this project, the NFB provided funding and equipmentto local citizens to encourage their participation in reportingon and representing Canada at the grassroots level. The projectfilled a need unfulfilled by other media at the time.108Challenge for Change was designed to provoke positivesocial change, particularly for disadvantaged segments ofsociety, through the innovative uses of documentary filmand video....The pilot film [Things I Cannot Change] andits outcome uncovered a fundamental rule of successfulcommunity-oriented film or video work: any productiondesigned to improve the conditions for a group of peopleand to empower those people requires their consent andactive participation in order to be effective....Thisparticular discovery was a crucial revelation which hada profound impact on the Challenge for Change concept andultimately on community access television(Goldberg:12-13). 27Other factors contributed to the push for communitytelevision as well. Technological developments increased theavailability of less expensive video equipment to the generalpublic. Simultaneously, cable television technology wasincreasing in sophistication and had begun to make an impact onurban areas. The CRTC was concerned that cable systems werealready receiving substantial profits by re-broadcastingprogramming developed for broadcast television -- especiallyforeign originated programming -- and would grow too quickly.It had been discussing cable stations as venues for communitytelevision from as early as 1969 on the premise that requiringcable stations to invest money and energy in communitytelevision might curtail their growth in some way. (Gillespie,1975). And amidst all of this technical and technologicaldevelopment, there were pressing social and political issues27 This film had disastrous effects on the family which itportrayed. Evidently, the family was not given a prescreeningbefore it was released. Because of the delicate nature of thematerial and the size of the community in which the family lived,it was ostracized by the neighbours as a result. Other projectswere more successful and more sensitive (Goldberg, 1990:12).109that demanded attention. Television was the perfect mediumthrough which to critically document and comment upon the unrestof the 60s and early 70s (civil rights, Vietnam, Quebecseparatism, etc.). "Guerrilla" video and film embodied theseefforts -- grassroots commentaries, often critical, on thesocial issues of the day. This was the environment into whichcommunity television was born -- an environment which requiredthat public access to television be autonomous, educational,reflective, democratic and oppositional.Current Public Access Provisions Currently, public access television operates under themandate of the 1986 Cable Television Regulations. Definitionsof community programming and the general mandate for licenseesto carry a community channel remain the same. However, changesare evident in Sections 3, 11, 12 and 14 (cf. 1976 CableTelevision Regulations). These are largely due to CRTCmodification of its position on advertising and "complementaryprogramming". The provision for "reasonable, balancedopportunity for the expression of differing views" has also beenremoved from these Regulations although the CRTC can holdlicensees accountable for providing balanced programming underSection 3 (d) of the Broadcasting Act.Under the 1986 Regulations, whether a cable station isrequired to provide a community channel depends upon the classof license it holds, and a license's class depends upon thenumber of subscribers a cable system has as well as where it is110located. Part II servers must provide "community programming onthe community channel", while Part III servers may do so. PartII servers are stations with Class 1 (6000+ subscribers) andClass 2 (2000 - 6000 subscribers) licenses. Small Class 2servers (2000- subscribers) are exempt from some of thecommunity channel requirements. Part III servers are typicallycharacterized as those who cater to "unserved" communities andneed not provide a community channel at all."Licenses are issued by the CRTC in accordance with thesocial and cultural provisions set out in the Broadcasting Act,as well as technical provisions such as maximum number ofchannels or frequencies or undertaking classification, ascodified in CRTC regulations. The Minister of Communicationscan also grant licenses and technical construction and operatingcertificates under the Radiocommunication Act. Systems withlicenses are required to undergo periodic reviews for renewal.Public participation in license renewal hearings is encouraged.Public input is also encouraged through the process of publicinquiry undertaken by Royal Commissions and other governmenttask forces although these inquiries tend to focus on the28 Unserved communities are those communities not served byother commercial endeavours such as commercial broadcast radio ortelevision. Many of these communities are located in thenorthern-most parts of the country and, because of the highproportion of First Nations communities in northern areas, anaccess differential occurs.111nation's communications system as a whole. 29Class 1 and 2 licensees are expected to provide productionfacilities, training and programming opportunities free ofcharge. The 1975 Community Television Policy indicated thatthese services were to be financed at the cable system's expenseand a figure of 10% of gross subscriber revenues was held up asa suitable guideline. In the 1991 Cable Television Policiesthis figure has changed to not less than 5% of the base portion of the basic monthly fee.The 1986 Cable Television Regulations also allow communitychannels to cablecast a reasonable amount of "contra, credit andsponsorship messages on the community channel to enablelicensees to continue to improve the quality and quantity ofcommunity programming" (CRTC Public Notice 1986 - 182:11). Onthis account, sponsors can provide goods, services or money tosupport a community production in exchange for a written or oralmention of a name and the goods or services that were providedto a particular production. These are to be still messages andno phone numbers and addresses are permitted. This affordslicensees more latitude in financing the community channel -- nolonger are they bound to use subscriber revenues only. However,the CRTC clarified the provisions regarding sponsorship messages29 Chronologically these have been the Aird Commission (1929),Canadian Radio Broadcasting Commission (1932), Massey Commission(1949), Fowler Commission (1955), Glassco Commission (1963), BoyleSpecial Committee (1977), Clyne Special Committee (1979),Applebaum-Hebert Special Committee (1981) and The Caplan-SauvageauTask Force on Canadian Broadcastings (1985) (Siegel, 1983:166).112in a 1988 Circular indicating that logos, graphics andvoice-overs may be superimposed upon moving and still images of,say, a sponsor's building and still be an acceptable type ofcredit. Perhaps, this interpretation places more attention andcreative potential on the message than the original 1986Regulations intended. The 1991 Community Channel Policy allowssmall Class II licensees and Part III licensees "12 minutes oflocal advertising material per hour" (CRTC Public Notice 1991-59:19). In this 1991 notice the CRTC also recognised that somelicensees rent their production facilities to commercial andindustrial producers and, although no mention is made regardingwhether such practices are in keeping with community televisionpolicy, it is noted that revenues should be re-invested in thecommunity channel.In a 1985 amendment to the 1976 Regulations, the CRTCannounced its decision to allow Class B licensees (3000subscribers or less as per 1978 regulations) to distribute theprogramming outlined in the "Complementary Programming of theCommunity Channel" Notice as long as local programming tookprecedence. The Commission's rationale was that licensees,especially ones serving a smaller subscriber area, are able todevelop only so much original programming at any one time, andsome supplementary, or "complementary", programming would be inthe public interest. Complementary programming consists of:Community programs produced by other cable televisionlicensees, government or public service informationmaterial, NFB productions, children's program,educational programs not provided by the Provincial113Education Authority, alphanumeric services such asBroadcast News, the Question period portions of the Houseof Commons or provincial legislatures and multiculturalprograms (CRTC Public Notice 1985-151: 15-16). 30This provision remains in the 1991 Cable Television Policies,however it applies to Class 2 licensees (6000 subscribers orless as per the 1986 regulations). Small Class 2 and Part IIIlicensees have been relieved of their responsibility to provideany active original programming at all as long as analphanumeric service for classified advertising and publicservice announcements is provided. Class 1 licensees (6000 ormore subscribers), in the best technical and financial positionof all the cable licensees to offer community programming, havebeen allowed to cablecast "government and public serviceinformation material as well as the provincial or territorialQuestion and Period proceedings" (17). Again, the CRTCindicates that such programming would be in the public interestas long as local programming is given priority. While theseexceptions to community-only programming take a great deal oflocal origination pressure off of the licensees, they also savemoney and effort. Rather than put the time and energy intoproducing a show, licensees can just distribute pre-fabricatedprogramming. The potential for abuse is significant. The more30 'Alphanumeric service' is the simplest and least expensiveway to transmit information over a television screen. It consistsof an electronic bulletin board, usually a computer screen, uponwhich information is programmed. A television camera is trainedupon the screen to transmit the image. Often music from a localradio station provides audio 'atmosphere'. In this way, publicservice announcements, weather reports, sports scores and similarinformation can be communicated to the viewing public.114air time devoted to alphanumeric or government programming, theless time available for community produced material.Cable licensees may also distribute bicycled orinterconnected programming on the community channel. Bicyclingis a process of sending a videocassette physically to anotherlicensee, by mail or through a friend or organization, in orderthat it be distributed on that system. Interconnection is aprocess whereby the cable licensee itself transmits a programover a micro-wave or hard wire mini-network to other operatingsystems. Section 2 of the 1976 Cable Television Regulationsprovided for program bicycling if such material was integratedinto local programming. In 1982 the Commission decided tobroaden this provision and allow bicycled programs to becablecast on their own merit in limited measure. It alsoallowed cable licensees, for the first time, to self-regulateusing trade standards developed by the CCTA.If not abused, it is the Commission's view that limitedbicycling between systems and indeed across the country,can inject new life and interest into the channel andprovide a stimulus to creativity through sharing ofprogramming ideas, techniques and community experiences(CRTC Circular No. 286:3).More recently, interconnection has become a reality throughadvances in cable technology -- technically just another form ofbicycling. The CRTC has always been concerned that bicycledprogramming would be used by licensees in lieu of localprogramming and has consistently denounced such practices Inthe 1991 Community Channel Policy the Commission finally decidedto impose a 40% restriction on bicycled and interconnected115programming in order to protect the "local flavour" of thecommunity channel. This is the case even in light oftechnological advances which are beginning to spawn adjacentcable systems and cable mini-networks having a reach beyond thatof the CRTC's definition of "community". The CRTC maintainsthat community programming is to remain a local phenomenon.Therefore, the Commission is considering requiring that systemswhich use interconnection often apply for network licenses (1991Community Channel Policy).The last modification to public access policy to bediscussed has to do with community programming content asoutlined in the 1975 policies. As indicated earlier, cablelicensees were charged with encouraging use of the communitychannel for "unusual ideas and opinions on the broadest range ofsubjects and give the community the widest opportunity ofexpression -- a very liberal democratic mandate. In the 1984Community Channel Policy Review, the CCTA had requested thatthis policy requirement be removed on the basis that there wassignificant potential it would conflict with the licensee'sother responsibilities, particularly its responsibility for allprogramming cablecast on its system. The Commission did notremove the policy provision but supplied a less controversialinterpretation. It's comments are worth quoting at length.The encouragement of local self-expression through accessprogramming is one of the fundamental principles ofcommunity programming. It works best in an environmentof mutual support and trust, where the relationshipbetween the licensee and the community is one thatfosters vitality and fresh ideas as well as116responsibility. At the same time, programmers arejustified in wishing to ensure that the channel not beused in an irresponsible manner. In order to reflectmore accurately the intention of the policy, theCommission considers that the objective of encouragingunusual ideas and opinions can best be met through theencouragements of innovative ideas and alternative views,and may be interpreted as such (CRTC Circular No. 297:4).It may be that licensees were not interpreting the above to itsfullest extent. In the 1990 Community Channel Policy Review,the CRTC added this responsibility:Licensees are reminded that the community channel shouldreflect the bilingual and multicultural natures andcharacteristics of their communities. Licensees shouldalso make special efforts to meet the needs of thedisabled and visible minorities (CRTC Public Notice1990-57:14).These are the provisions afforded through the officialdiscourse of the 1986 Cable Television Regulations and relateddocuments. Like the Broadcasting Act, these policies promotedemocracy and freedom of expression in their provisions forpublic participation in television production and programming --particularly as regards "innovative ideas and alternativeviews", responsibility to the community, and cablecasts offormal political events. They promote equality and justicethrough provisions for balance and access as well as Canadianidentity and nationalism through provision for expression bycommunities of interest. Finally, the educative and socializingfunctions of the community channel are recognized throughprovision for educational programming and public serviceinformation. However, this aspect of public access wasdownplayed considerably in this policy. Although the populist,117democratic and educational premises set out in the officialdiscourse of this community channel policy does continue toprovide the public access to television, it should be noted thatbetween 1975 and 1991 some of these premises were eroded throughthe modifications outlined above. Thus, it may be that currentcommunity television provisions offer less access to the publicthan those previously.Cable System Policies and Public Access: The Case of Vancouver FIGURE 3Depiction of Rogers Cable Network (Lower Mainland) 31 RogersCableNetworkM^nn^I^W1Abbotsford^Surrey^VancouverCable Cable Comm.System System^NetworkRichmond ^ Fraser ^ VancouverStudioWest End ^ KitsilanoC-VictoriaCableSystemBurnabyEast Van.Vancouver Studio = Site of Interviews and Data CollectionM = Interconnected by MicrowaveC = Interconnected by Coaxial CableThe above policies and regulations are interpreted andimplemented by individual cable systems throughout Canada. In310nly detail of Vancouver Community Network is shown.118order to analyze whether the provisions for community televisionencourage or limit television access it is necessary toconsider, to some degree, how their principles are practicallyapplied by individual cable systems. The description ofVancouver's cable system, operated by Rogers Cable TV--Vancouver (Rogers Vancouver), is based on the system'sVolunteer Policies and Procedures manual and informal interviewswith Martin Truax and Deborah Angrave of the Vancouver Studio'sstaff. This section will provide an outline of the structure,philosophy and policies of Rogers Cable in order to show thedegree to which the CRTC policy provisions actually afford thepublic access to television.Vancouver, a diverse and metropolitan city of 431,147people, is served by one cable system, Rogers Cable Television.Rogers, one of the largest cable companies in Canada, hassignificant penetration in British Columbia -- its networkreaches up to half the province's population. Thus, eachcommunity is afforded excellent access to production andprogramming opportunities (M. Truax, personal communication, 30March, 1992). Figure 3 will be useful for understanding howRogers Cable TV - Vancouver public access fits into the largerpicture of Rogers Cable TV offerings in the Province in general.The Rogers Cable Network in B.C. is comprised of 5 cablesystems: Abbotsford, Surrey, Victoria, Fraser, and Vancouver.These systems are interconnected either by microwave or bycoaxial cable as indicated M or C in the diagram, and each is119responsible for the community programming in its own area.Vancouver's Cable System, Rogers Community Network -- Community4, consists of locations at Burnaby, Richmond and Vancouver.The Vancouver Studio holds the license for Rogers Burnaby andRogers Richmond and is thus responsible for their communityprogramming requirements. While each area cablecasts materialof specific interest to itself, the three locations also form a"network" to cablecast in all three areas simultaneously. TheVancouver Studio is also the primary programmer for theselocations. From its Master Control Facilities in Burnaby, theStudio cablecasts roughly 6 hours of programming daily that isshared by Vancouver, Burnaby and Richmond, the rest of thefourteen hours of programming is undertaken by those locations.The Vancouver Studio is the headquarters for Vancouver'sthree Neighbourhood Television Offices (NTOs or NTVs):Kitsilano, Vancouver East, and West End. The three NTOs weredeveloped in the early 1970s to "serve the programming andaccess needs of people who lived in distinct neighbourhoods ofthe city" (M. Truax, personal communication, 30 March, 1992).Most volunteer produced programming is done through theseoffices by individuals and groups from the neighbourhood. Whilevolunteer produced programming occurs at the Vancouver Studio aswell, its mandate is more broad and its programming reflects thebroad interests of the entire Vancouver area. It is responsiblefor acquiring outside programming, coordinating programmingdeveloped at the NTOs, coordinating distant networking with the120other Rogers Cable Stations throughout British Columbia, andproducing programming at the Rogers corporation's behest. TheVancouver studio also is more active in producing programmingfor those members of the community who are willing and able tosupply ideas but not technical assistance (D. Angrave, personalcommunication, 30 March, 1992).Rogers Vancouver operates under a corporate policy whichcombines the policy guidelines and regulations set out by theCRTC and the trade standards developed by the CCTA.Unfortunately, the corporate policy is not available for publicexamination. Nonetheless, Rogers Vancouver's 1988 VolunteerPolicies and Procedures Manual (Rogers Manual) reflects thecorporation's visions (M. Truax and D. Angrave, personalcommunication, 30 March, 1992).People who give their services to the Community Channeldo so out of a sense of community spirit and/or to learnmore about television production. In return, theCommunity channel offers a means of expression and anopportunity for learning (Rogers Manual:1).The Rogers Manual outlines philosophy, policy and procedureswhich are in keeping with those of the CRTC. Communitytelevision is an opportunity to learn and participate on thelevel of community as an alternative to other forms oftelevision access and programming. Individuals may volunteer toassist productions or can train to produce their own.Community members interested in producing and airing a showon Community 4 are required to undergo a period of orientationand training. While the process varies from production centre121to production centre, at Rogers Vancouver volunteers are exposedto a series of experiences through which they gradually developtheir knowledge of video production and technical skill. Thus,volunteers may observe production for a period of time andassist non-technically on a few shoots before they take thespecific workshops needed to test out on the equipment they willneed for their production. Once they have taken the workshopsthey may be required to assist on other productions for sometime before being allowed to take equipment on their own.Program Directors have primary responsibility for training andvolunteer assistance (M. Truax, personal communication, 30March, 1992). 32Rogers Vancouver offers "Fair But Limited Access".Potential community producers must submit program proposalswhich are assessed as to their "acceptability" for Community 4.Access policies are specific to individual programming officesand final determination rests with the Program Director.It is the policy of Rogers Cable TV to accommodate andprogram a wide spectrum of community interests andconcerns. Consideration will be given to those communitygroups and individuals whose issues and concerns aregiven little attention in other media, and are most inneed of expression through Community Programming.However, the degree of access is monitored by the ProgramDirector to ensure no monopolization of excess channeltime is enjoyed by particular participating groups orindividuals (Rogers Manual:3).Criteria for assessing proposals are whether program material32 According to an informational video developed by RogersCable TV, there is usually a one month wait between the initialphone call and the first orientation. Waiting lists are also notuncommon for the workshops (Your Community Channel, 1990).122is: useful for the community, best communicated in a televisionformat, following on the heels of a similar program, likely tobe a high use of Channel resources, etc. Because the Canadianpolicies make cable companies responsible for material cablecaston the community station, access is a highly subjective matter.Individual stations and their staff are given discretionarypower regarding who may have access to community productionfacilities as well as regarding program content.Much of the Rogers Manual is devoted to operationalizingand explaining CRTC and CCTA guidelines such as balance, therepresentation of alternative points of view, and theappropriate use of advertising, promotion and credits.Community standards for programming and journalistic standardsare also outlined. The former are restrictions on programcontent as to:...sexually explicit material or gratuitous violence;material which discriminates in matters of ConstitutionalRights such as race, origin, religion, colour, sex orhandicap; or material which is false or libellous; orprofuse or vulgar language which is included for shockvalue only (Rogers Manual:5).The section on journalistic standards outlines interviewprotocol, proper contextual use of information, representationof diverse views on controversial subjects, and other technicaland ethical issues.As mentioned in the earlier discussion of the CRTC rulesgoverning Cable, community channels are no longer barred fromusing limited forms and amounts of advertising. In keeping withthe CRTC's policy, the Rogers Manual indicates that community123program may neither be used to blatantly advertise or promoteproducts nor to "air" spot advertisements and commercials.However, sponsorship and contra advertising are allowed on thecondition that sponsors and donors have no editorial control ofthe community program, that they follow the rules set out by theCRTC, and that the monies or products are used specifically forthe community channel. "Sometimes a group may wish to providefunds to offset the community channel's production costs. Thismay take the form of government grants or direct funding of aproducer's salary or other expenses" (10). The Manual notesthat volunteers are not to seek out sponsorship or contraagreements and are not to obligate the company in any way.Rather, the Program Director should be notified to look intosuch matters.Rogers Vancouver cablecasts community programs a number oftimes "to reach as wide an audience as possible" (RogersManual:11). These "airings" are done in batches and Rogersattempts to notify community producers of any changes,preemptions, or alterations to the "airing" time. Programs maybe cut at the beginning or end or "joined in progress" if theprogramming schedule dictates. All programs developed usingRogers Vancouver facilities are the sole property of Rogers and,therefore, may be edited or modified to conform to CRTC, CCTAand system regulations. Rogers also reserves the right tonegotiate any future uses of such programs. Programs "of atimeless nature" will be retained and may be cablecast from time124to time. Rogers may also bicycle a program and will endeavourto contact the producer in that event. Neither the station northe community producer may sell or utilize programs forfinancial gain.The rest of the Manual is dedicated to specific rules andregulations about equipment use, security, safety, mobile unitand control room use, care of equipment, prior approval ofexpenses, use of Rogers vehicles, and personal conduct andappearance. It should be noted that explanations of the properbehaviour and comportment of Community 4 volunteers comprise asignificant portion of these guidelines. A list of grounds forcancelling production privileges closes the Manual --transgressions ranging from discourtesy and misrepresentation todrug and alcohol use, absenteeism and violation of the policiesand practices.From this outline of the Rogers Vancouver Policies andProcedures it should be clear that Rogers Cable exercises a highdegree of control over the production and programming ofcommunity programs. It should also be clear that Rogers haskept to the letter of the law in its Manual and accuratelyreproduces those policy objectives of both the Broadcasting Act,the CRTC's requirements and the CCTA's industry standards --these foundations are all evident and matter-of-factly stated.However, the corporate policy, unavailable to the public, wouldoutline policies and procedures regarding how the 40%/60%distribution of local and "other" programming should be treated,125to what degree and on what bases programs should be bicycled orinterconnected and, perhaps most importantly, how the communityis notified about the community channel, how the community hasinput into the channel, or how it obtains information about theweekly program schedule. The personal interviews with theProgram Director and the Program Coordinator of the VancouverStudio staff supplied information on some of these issues.There are primarily three ways that community input to thechannel is solicited: 1) through an Advisory Board, 2) througha phone machine where comments are logged and reviewed monthly,and 3) through the "culture" and daily operation of the stationwhere informal input from community volunteers and othersencountered during work-related tasks can be gathered. TheAdvisory Board, although not required by the CRTC, was suggestedin its policies as an acceptable way to solicit community input.It is corporate policy that all Rogers systems strike anAdvisory Board -- the size dependent upon the size of thesystem. Rogers Vancouver's Advisory Board is comprised of 8members. The Chair is held by Rogers Vancouver's ProgramManager, the Vice Chair is held by Rogers's Divisional Managerand the other 6 seats are drawn from "influential, public-mindedpeople from the various communities of interest" (50% male and50% female). While the Advisory Board's charge is to advise onprogramming matters, issues about cable in general are discussedon occasion. The Advisory Board has no binding power.The only power that it has is that the Advisory Board ismade up of people who are somewhat powerful in the126community. I'm sure any one of them, if they wanted totake issue, would be quite vocal in the community. Andthey are of the level of the people in the communitywhose judgement we tend to take anyway (M. Truax,personal communication, 30 March, 1992).Angrave advises that Program Coordinators are encouraged toactively keep their ear to the ground for community feedback andto actively participate, as much as possible, in communityevents. Also, volunteers and other members of the community canbe quite vocal. She does acknowledge, however, that somecommunities, ethnic or otherwise, have value systems orcharacteristics that make them less likely to offer inputthrough the current channels. She indicated that quantitativemeasurement of who is watching the channel might provideinformation currently unavailable but that to date Rogers doesnot have Bureau of Broadcast Measurement ratings which mightfurnish such information. "What I always hear is: 'when is thisprogram going to be shown?'...the community is mostly frustratedthat they can't find us in the TV guide". This is an issue thatwas addressed by CRTC Commissioner Beverly Oda in her address tothe CCTA at the 1991 Convention -- that cable systems needed towork more on promotion of the Community Channel and listing ofits program schedule. Angrave indicates that program listinghas not yet become a budget item but that such action isforthcoming. The Vancouver Studio has begun to promote theprogram schedule more on the community channel itself, however(personal communication, 30 March, 1992).Regarding bicycling and interconnection, programming from127all Rogers community channels as well as programming from othersystems may be distributed on the Rogers Lower Mainland CableNetwork (see Figure 3, p. 119).^This network does operatecontinuously but there is a designated schedule and communityproducers, whether seasoned or neophyte, must apply and beselected for access to it. Selection is dependent upon the typeof programming and the desired "air" time and is decided by theVancouver location (Angrave, personal communication, 30 March,1992). While there is no mention of this network in the 1988Policies and Procedures Manual, it is clear that BritishColumbia is well on its way to having an entrenched provincialnetwork devoted to community programming and community issues.It is very important to note that cable networks, such as thisone in British Columbia, are not the norm in either Canada orthe United States. Also, even though Rogers has a network, itsuse is still fairly limited for community programming.Provisional and Procedural Limits to Canadian Access While the 1975 Cable Television Policies and 1986 CableTelevision Regulations do afford community access to televisionon all these counts through the facilities and supervision ofprivately owned cable stations, the community's access islimited by a number of factors. So far we have seen how policyprovisions facilitate public access to television through acable community channel. However, this section will outline howthe policy provisions for public access outlined above, andrecent amendments, limit the public's access to television.128Specific details about how policies are actually interpreted andimplemented at the station level will be supplied using datagathered from informal interviews with staff at RogersVancouver.Regarding access to television production and programming,we have seen that the CRTC removed the requirement that allcable systems provide a community channel. The 1991 policyexempts Small Class 2 systems (less than 2000 subscribers) andPart III licensees (serving "unserved" communities) fromproviding community programming at all on the basis that it islogically and financially unfeasible. Instead, these licenseesare to maintain an alphanumeric message service as an electronickiosk." Significant is the fact that new licenseclassifications which have enlarged the number of subscribersfor each Class, results in larger systems not affording thecommunity actual production and programming access. The resultis that less central, less monied and often less enfranchisedcommunities, pockets of 2000 people or less, suffer an accessdifferential.Erosions to the public's access have also occurred in thecase of provisions to allow "complementary", government and33 As noted earlier, unserved communities are those communitiesnot served by other commercial broadcast media such as radio ortelevision. These are often northern, First Nations communities.While in-depth discussion of the particular implications of thesecommunities' lack of access to television production technology isbeyond the scope of this paper, it is an area that should receivemore attention. The Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC) is anexample of a First Nations operated network. The Canadiangovernment does provide partial funding for this project.129public interest programming on Class 1 and 2 systems. As wasnoted, the CRTC recently put a 40% restriction on bicycled andinterconnected programming, which leaves 60% of the programmingfor local community programs. However, this figure ismisleading since the CRTC has also given Class 1 licenseespermission to program government and public service material onthe community channel and allows Class 2 licensees to cablecast"complementary programming". From the 1991 Community ChannelPolicy, it is unclear whether the CRTC intended such programmingto be scheduled as part of the 40% limit for bicycled materialor as part of the 60% of the local programming. Suchinformation was not attained during the interviews with RogersVancouver staff. However, given cable licensees' tendency toprefer pre-developed programming to the local productionprocess, this lack of clarity in the policy document will likelylead to significant erosions of the 60% local communityprogramming time. 34 As well, these provisions are in directcontravention of the statement below made in the CRTC's 1979"Review of Certain Cable Television Programming Issues". Itseems that the only remnant of the original vision of thecommunity channel as a local, participatory alternative toregular television is the channel's "localness". From thepolicy documents, the role of the Cable Television lobby inpressing for "latitude" in the use of the channel have resulted34 These preferences are apparent from comments in CRTCcommunity channel policy reviews.130in some significant concessions.The pressure for the sharing of the community channelwith such services as the proceedings of federal andprovincial legislatures, reflects an overcrowding of thebasic service of some cable television systems. The needto share the community channel will diminish as theaugmented service is developed and the penetration ofconverters increases. In the interim period, however,the Commission's studies do not indicate nor are thererepresentations to substantiate that the sharing of thecommunity channel with other services would constitute apositive step in the development of the unique serviceprovided by the community channel. On the basis of itsassessment, the Commission concludes that there should beno amendments to the Commission's existing policy andregulation [to cablecast only community programming onthe channel] (11).It is important to note that the Commission altered theprevious 1976 Cable Television Regulations and allowed Class 1licensees to offer more on the community channel than communityprogramming alone. This seems to have been less a consciousdecision on the part of the Commission than it was a matter ofbringing the regulations into line with common practice.The Commission is aware that many program directorsinclude in their schedules programs supplied by the RedCross, provincial tourism agencies, Revenue Canada, andothers. All these programs are technically prohibitedbecause they fall outside the definition of communityprogramming, yet all appear to have a valid place withinthe public service mandate of the community channel. Inthe Commission's view, the exhibition of a limited amountof public service information material would be in thepublic interest (17).The manner in which cable licensees fund their communitychannels may also be limiting the general public's access to thechannel. As noted, licensees have not been required tore-invest 10% of gross subscriber revenues into the communitychannel since the 1986 regulations. Rather, licensees are131expected to contribute 5% of basic service revenues or, morespecifically, 5% of the base portion of the basic monthly fee.It is unclear whether the actual dollar amounts beingre-invested into the community channel under the new guidelinesare greater than they were before, but on the basis of thedifference between gross subscriber and basic service revenues,it would seem that they have been substantially reduced. Thereare two possible implications of this provision. The first isthat the licensee will have to scrimp on the technical facilityand staffing for the community channel resulting in lowerquality productions for fewer community members. The second isthat licensees will rely more on acquiring outside fundingthrough sponsorship and will tailor their services to addressthe needs of those who can supply financial assistance.In the 1979 Review of Certain Cable Programming Issues, thecable lobby was already requesting advertising and otherprogramming on the community channel. In 1986, the cableindustry's wishes were granted by the CRTC in its decision toallow a reasonable amount of contra, credit and sponsorshipmessages, when applicable, as part of a community production.While not explicitly stated as the reason for this provision, itmay be that the CRTC felt more community members would beinterested in using the channel if there were some advertisingpotential. On the other hand, cable stations might be moreresponsive to community needs if there were some financialincentive -- even if all monies had to be reinvested in the132community channel. The regulations indicate that all messagesare to be limited to the written or oral mention of a name andthe goods or services that were provided to the particularproduction. But the dollar amount represented can be quitesignificant. As indicated earlier, Rogers Vancouver has advisedits community "volunteers" that sponsors and donors may have noeditorial control of a community program or the actions of thelicensee. However, this is more subjective than the 1988 RogersManual would indicate.Sometimes a group may wish to provide funds to offset thecommunity channel's production costs. This may take theform of government grants or direct funding of aproducer's salary or other expenses (Rogers Cable -Vancouver Volunteer Policies and Procedures, 1988:10).Obviously it is a delicate subject for [Rogers Vancouver]if we are talking sponsorship and we are talking access.We want to create, and we have done that, a facilitywhere we won't deny anybody access to the channel but ithas to be within realistic parameters with what we cansupply. If an individual or a group or an organizationwants access to our facilities and is able to put forwardor acquire third-party funding to top up what we cansupply to meet their needs, then we will proceed (M.Truax, personal communication, 30 March, 1992).Certainly, any exchange of money or goods for the benefit ofprogramming blurs the line between community programming andcommercial programming on community television. In these cases,Program Directors, Program Coordinators, producers and sponsorsmust be clear about their goals and the goals of communitytelevision.A further grey area occurs regarding the actual form of thesponsorship message. While written or oral messages continue tobe the policy, Circular No. 348, a 1988 CRTC clarification of133the provisions regarding sponsorship messages, indicates thatlogos, graphics and voice-overs may be superimposed upon movingand still images of, say, a sponsor's building and still be anacceptable type of credit. This would seem to place a bit moreattention and creative potential on the message than theoriginal intent of the policy would afford. More recently, the1991 Community Channel Policy has proposed to allow Small Class2 (less than 2000 subscribers) and Part III licensees servingunserved communities "12 minutes of local advertising materialper hour" (19). The understanding is that revenues derived fromthis provision will be used for development of the communitychannel or local programming. The new regulations have not yetcome into effect but there is every indication that thisproposal will be adopted. Certainly, these provisions couldlead to abuse of advertising as well as the potential erosion ofthe amount of time available for cablecasting communityproductions. The provisions could also encourage an increasedfocus on soliciting and developing effective sponsorship to thedetriment of the hands-on, popular spirit needed to solicit,develop and support "pure" publicly produced shows on an ongoingbasis. This has happened in some instances.It is no secret that when our sister system in Torontostarted sponsorship in 1986 the result was that theykilled volunteerism because all of a sudden they realizedthat they didn't have to go through all of the hassles ofworking with volunteers....With this added revenue theycould just hire everybody and they effectively killedtheir own volunteer program. It still hasn't recovered.In fact, they're not all that keen to recover....But forus [Rogers Vancouver]... it should be emblazoned above ourdoor, "With Sponsorship Nothing Changes" (M. Truax,134personal communication, 30 March 1992).This issue of the changing shape of voluntarism brings intoquestion to what degree "pure" access is available to interestedindividuals and groups. Goldberg (1990) indicates that sincethe early 1970s when programs were citizen initiated andproduced, cable stations have, more and more, taken theresponsibility for production so that now volunteers work moreas assistants who offer production ideas and assistance to thestation producer in the technical development of a show. Thereis also the question of how volunteers are trained and withinwhat period of time. At Rogers Vancouver, a volunteer might betrained for up to a year, technically and artistically, beforehe/she is allowed to use the equipment alone and pursue aprogram idea. At Shaw Cable of North/West Vancouver, the 1989volunteer manual closes with, "Now that you have met our team,we encourage you to participate with us on our videoproductions" (13). That policy and station provisions aremoving away from a democratized access structure toward a moreprivatized industry seems apparent. Public access to televisionis becoming more a matter of cable stations serving in thepublic interest than serving the public's interests.One way to ensure that "autonomous" community developedprogramming is distributed for viewing, whether local or not, isthrough bicycling and interconnection. While the CRTC may beconcerned that these practices have negative effects on thelocal flavour of community channels, these distribution135techniques^also^open^the^possibility^for^positiveinter-community communication.^However, the 1991 CommunityChannel Policy proposals regarding bicycling andinterconnection, instead of making provision to increase thedistribution and reach of either local or "outside" citizenproduced programming, works to limit the total amount of citizenproduced community programming in the first place. As has beennoted, the Commission suggested that 60% of the materialcablecast on the community channel be locally produced -- areasonable amount. However, this provision does not ensure thatthe remaining 40% will be devoted to "pure" community programsrather than pre-developed complementary or governmentprogramming. No guidelines have been supplied. The criteriafor choosing a bicycled program for cablecast is whether or notit is of local interest. What constitutes "local interest" isdecided by the cable licensee. Although such decisions shouldbe based on community input, the degree to which the generalpublic's opinions are considered, as opposed to an AdvisoryBoard comprised of community elites, is questionable andunsubstantiable. It is also interesting that "complementary",government and public interest programming may or may not belocally produced or reflect the local flavour of the community.Nonetheless, there seems to be less question about itssuitability for cablecasting than bicycled or interconnectedmaterial. The policy provisions, how they are interpreted andimplemented and upon what information those decisions are based136-- as well as the structures for community input into theprocess -- all limit bicycling and local community programmingand thus, the public's access to the programming and productionprocess for "pure" programs.Requiring that cable licensees be responsible for thematerial they cablecast further erodes public control and accessto the production and programming process. The manner in whichthis provision ensures limits to "pure" access to television isinsidious. For example, some cable licensees have adopted apolicy to not cablecast any original language multiculturalprogramming. The rationale for this decision is that staff donot speak the languages and thus cannot ensure that the materialcomplies with the required standards in an informed manner (D.Angrave, personal communication, 30 March, 1992; Goldberg,personal communication, 5 November, 1991). One can see logic inthis reasoning. However, while this is an exceptionalinterpretation of responsibility, it shows the degree of controllicensees have over their facilities and programming schedulesand the lack of control and protection afforded the generalpublic. The decisions of these particular licensees result ina terrible loss to the Canadian public -- particularly in lightof Canada's multicultural policy, the CRTC's policy to encourage"minority" programming, and the diversity of the Canadianpopulation. While the losses in this example are quiteapparent, there is no telling what other kinds ofself-censorship take place and with what results.137Restrictions do not only apply to content, there aretechnical quality restrictions that limit the public's access aswell.The policy has been with the broadcasters, and with us,that we will not air certain formats because it justlooks technically poor. We have a policy here that we donot air home format. That has been softened a little bitnow with the upgrade of home/consumer equipment and acertain portion, I think up to 20% of a program, cancontain what is called "documentary footage" if it isgermane (D. Angrave, personal communication, 30 March,1992).On this account, some licensees have chosen to only produceprograms themselves in order that they are technicallysophisticated and pleasing -- imbued with the characteristicbroadcast look. In these cases, the public's access is limitedto volunteer input and assistance (see Shaw Cable4 Manual).While such programming reflects well on the channel andcertainly makes it more pleasant to watch, the practice changesthe fundamental premises of community participation andexpression through television. By holding licensees liable forprogramming on their systems and binding them to certaintechnical standards, the CRTC has ensured that the they have theflexibility and the responsibility to shape the productionprocedures and the programming content so that final productsadhere to CRTC and industry guidelines. However, thisflexibility -- under the rubric of responsibility -- can beabused. In situations such as these where one policy directive(the cable licensee's responsibility for all cablecast material)works in opposition to another (the public's preferably138autonomous access to television production and programming), whois to decide which should have precedence?Ultimately, the decision rests with the CRTC which hasinvested cable licensees with the entire business ofimplementing the community television mandate. While somedegree of restriction may be necessary, how public accessprovisions are interpreted and applied is dependent upon thediscretion of program directors and, ultimately, the corporationitself -- subjective entities with individual responsibilitiesand interests of their own. These for-profit establishments mayor may not hire staff sensitive to the needs and concerns of thelocal community. Yet these businesses are required to make thechoices that count: what should be programmed? which story ideasshould be produced? what content or technical quality isacceptable? whether a production idea too costly, in time ormoney, to undertake, etc.Licensees have the flexibility to respond or not to respondto a particular community's requests. Since cable channels areprivate enterprises keen on maintaining and expanding theirviewership, corporate interests inevitably play some part in theselection of production ideas and programming choices. Thus,there may be an added subjective content or technicalrestriction on material that would not reflect well on the cablecompany itself or that might give viewers incentive to withdrawtheir subscriptions to the cable service. While there is noformal indication that this occurs, the manner in which public139access provisions set up the implementation network make theseconcerns very real indeed. Policy provisions which regulatecontent and technical standards require a certain degree ofself-censorship on the part of the cable licensee and thecommunity producers. It would seem that this self-censorshipwould impede the process of citizen participation and expressionthrough the public forum of television. To what degree thisoccurs now is unknown. Future study in this area could prove tobe quite valuable.The CRTC has never required cable licensees to unfailinglyearmark a certain percentage of profits for the communitychannel. Nor has the Commission required that the technicallevel of equipment meet broadcast standards or that percentagesof staff and training opportunities reflect the size of thesubscriber area or the community television demand of thestation. Nor has the Commission been particularly vigilant inmonitoring its regulations and guidelines (Goldberg, 1990:17).By not requiring cable systems to meet certain criteria, thereis the very real danger that they will choose to meet them onlyminimally, if at all. This is not to say that most, or many,licensees will attempt to make less of their obligations.Rather, it is to say that policies which present optionalguidelines will more likely engender sporadic and/or situationalcompliance.For example, the CRTC reports that "certain licensees haveignored their responsibilities to encourage broad community140participation by restricting access to the channel in instanceswhere community groups were unable or unwilling to attractsponsors" (1990 Community Channel Policy Review). Licenseeshave also been reluctant to invest resources for the promotionof community television, especially as regards the local andongoing distribution of the program schedule (D. Angrave,personal communication, 30 March, 1992; Oda, 1991). Therelations between private industry and the state engendered byprivatization, while beneficial for these parties, is notnecessarily in the public's interest. Privatization makes itdifficult for issues that are not profit related to make it tothe policy agenda. Thus, in the case of public access totelevision, the public's cultural, democratic or educationalinterests are neither identified nor ensured. Also, publicrequests for access to forms of television other than communitytelevision are often misunderstood or considered altogetherridiculous (G. Robinson, personal communication, 23 Jan, 1992).Community television was originally intended for public use.This is becoming less and less the case.These are just some of the ways in which policy options andrequirements, at the hands of a private industry, have resultedin real losses to the individuals and communities for whomcommunity television was originally intended as regards theiraccess to the production and programming process.Limitations of public input and/or opposition might have aneffect on the manner in which the CRTC and cable licensees141approach their respective duties. However, such input islimited. By definition, the public is supposed to have inputinto the shape and function of community television, but theprovisions for such access hold neither the CRTC nor the cablelicensee responsible for ensuring that the public opinion oncommunity television -- regarding federal or local policies andpractices -- is actually incorporated.Take the case of the CRTC and policy development. While itroutinely solicits input from all members of society on mattersregarding community television, its policy reports tend toreflect the input of the cable lobby but not the general public.I undertook an informal content analysis of the number of timesprivate cable corporations and the CCTA, the broadcasting lobby,and community groups are cited in the 1991 Community ChannelPolicy as providing input for policy decisions. The resultsshow that cable industry input was cited 15 times, broadcastindustry input 2 times, and community input 2 times. Thus,cable interests are cited as supplying 80 percent of theinfluence on this CRTC policy. This crude statistic wouldindicate that the cable industry may be disproportionatelyrepresented in the CRTC's policy considerations. Because thereis no indication of what issues the community was vocal on,there is no way to ensure that the community's input has beenduly considered and applied. In this policy, the community'sstance on the issue of advertising was clearly stated:A number of community groups and individuals stated thatadvertising is incompatible with the basic premise142underlying the purpose of community access television,and would ultimately distort the principle of opencitizen access (11).Unfortunately, the Commission did not rule in its favour andcontinued to allow a certain amount of advertising.Public input at the local level is also limited. As wehave seen, the only formal input that Rogers Vancouver collectsand logs are comments deposited on an answering machine. Otherinput, besides that of the Advisory Board, is either gleaned bystaff from their daily encounters with people, or throughcomments delivered by phone or on location which reach the earsof staff but may or may not be logged or remembered. TheAdvisory Board, from the description supplied earlier, isclearly an elite body which may or may not be attuned to theneeds and desires of the general public. Information on how thelicensee ensures the public's input is utilized was not soughtduring the interviews. While the data gathered from RogersVancouver on these points are not sufficient to claim that thecommunity's input is lost or minimized on Rogers Vancouverspecifically, the point is that the provisions do not ensurethat it won't be lost on cable licensees generally. Such apossibility must be admitted and investigated. Further study ofthis issue is needed.Limitations regarding the distribution of communityprogramming once it has been developed are caused largely bycurrent community television policy provisions. In order todiscuss this point, it must be understood that there is a143significant difference between broadcast technology and cabletechnology -- a difference which affects the manner in whicheach is regulated. Unlike over-the-air broadcasting, thedistribution of a cable system has actual geographic limitsbecause cable transmission is determined by the physical outlayof the cable itself. 35 The geographically bounded nature ofcable systems is further illustrated in the way that licenseclasses are determined by the number of households inestablished subscriber areas. 36 It could be argued that,although cable stations are not involved in local programorigination on a large scale, they do not significantly modifyor change the broadcasting process and thus would be consideredbroadcasters responsible to the full impact of the BroadcastingAct. Using the rationale that the cable system is "primarily atechnological reception and distribution system" the CRTC chosenot to afford cable stations status as broadcasters (1975 CableTelevision Policies: 2).The implications of this broadcast/re-broadcast distinctionare significant. It can be argued that cable stations are not35 It is inaccurate to say that the reach of cable systems islimited to a micro-local level only. More and more cable systemshave satellite, microwave, and regular frequency transmittingability. Thus, cable licensees can interconnect as networks andcablecast quite broadly. Rogers Vancouver can interconnect to onehalf of the residents of British Columbia (M. Truax, personalcommunication, 30 March, 1992). Community programming in thisinterconnected network is limited.36 Again, this definition considers only one aspect of thecable system in deeming it a re-broadcast technology -- the cabledistribution system from the head end (where the system receivesover-the-air signals from broadcast sources.144formally bound by the terms and language of the Broadcasting Actwhich refer specifically to over-the-air technologies. If thisis the case, then provisions for public access to cabletechnology still do not give the Canadian public access to theairwaves that, according to the Broadcasting Act, belong tothem. So, although radio frequencies are public property, theyare still not accessible to the Canadian public because publicaccess is provided only through cable technology as per the 1975Cable Policies. The result of these two policy decisions -- 1)that broadcast and re-broadcast technologies are different andshould be regulated under different policies and standards and2) that public access should be afforded through cabletechnology not broadcast technology -- is that the CRTC has effectively limited the public's voice to the micro-local area.Broadcast stations, whose distribution reach is macro-local ornational, are not required to provide any kind of public access.Perhaps this is why the CRTC has named its public accessprovision "community television"."Why does the CRTC not provide for public access tobroadcast systems and the broader-than-local reach thatbroadcasting can provide? Although the general public owns theairwaves, the "scarcity rationale" has been the primaryjustification for not giving it formal broadcast access. Yet,37 As noted earlier, Rogers Cable Network does increase cabledistribution substantially and thus, could render much of thisparticular argument moot. However, there does not seem to be wideuse of the network for community programming so the public's accessstill remains localized.145cable technology is not bound by a "scarcity rationale".Co-axial cable is able to carry anywhere from twelve to sixty ormore channels at a time -- an amount that continues to increase.In early deliberations about public access to television, it wasdecided that the channel capability of cable could easilyaccommodate a public access channel. By placing communitytelevision in a cable technology, popular pressure on the CRTCfor use of broadcast frequencies was reduced. Also, the issuesof frequency distribution and regulation were simplifiedconsiderably (Goldberg, 1990).There were other reasons for this decision as well. In itsstatement of the rationale behind the 1975 Cable Policies, theCRTC openly acknowledged its own responsiveness to commercialbroadcasters' concerns. Broadcasters were worried that cabletechnology would "fragment" broadcast audiences and therebydecrease the amount of collectable advertising revenue. Theyalso feared that cable stations would receive and re-distributebroadcast signals and thereby make broadcasting virtuallyobsolete. Both these fears have come true to some degree, thebroadcast industry is crying hard times (D. Angrave, personalcommunication, 30 March, 1992).In developing and refining its cable television policythe dilemma the Commission faces is...how to integratecable television into the Canadian broadcasting system asa full contributing partner to the system. Central tothe problem are three key issues: a) the extent to whichcable television should provide community programmingthat cannot be provided by over-the-air broadcasters andthe extent of the commitment which cable televisionlicensees should be asked to provide, to support suchprogramming; b) the measures that cable television should146be required to take to minimize damage to theover-the-air broadcasting system; c) the extent to whichcable television can assist the Canadian programproduction industry (1975 Cable Television Policies: 2).The CRTC focused on three concerns: 1) cable companies'interest in developing hardware systems over originatingprogramming; 2) cable systems tendency to receive signalsfree-of-charge, charge people consistent rates for one-timedevelopment of an operating system and the relatively minorongoing maintenance costs, and then returning very little of theprofits to their communities; and 3) the threat that cablesystems posed to the big business of broadcasting. In light ofthese, the CRTC adopted a strategy of requiring stations toprovide and fund public access television in order to keep thecable industry from growing too quickly, crowding broadcastjurisdiction, and moving ahead of established regulatoryprocedure. By providing for the public's access to televisionthrough cable technology, the CRTC was fulfilling theparticipatory intent of the Broadcasting Act while stillretaining "scarce" broadcast frequencies for those more able toprovide programming of interest to the general public. 38 Publicaccess continues to be provided for primarily at the locallevel.Since this line of reasoning was developed, the Canadian38 Some individuals have developed schemes whereby broadcaststations would be required to provide production and programmingfacilities a certain number of hours per day or per week (Nader &Riley, 1988; Labunski, 1989). In this way, the public could haveat least some access to broadcasting systems.147cable industry has grown at a remarkable rate. While the threeconcerns outlined here do remain, the cable industry has managedto continue growing in spite of its requirement to providecommunity television. Although it is pure speculation, thecable lobby may currently have as much or more clout than thebroadcast lobby based on its potential for telecommunicationsand interactive systems.Even when community television is provided on cable, thepublic's viewing access to this channel is limited because it islocated in a subscriber-fee technology. Cable television is notfree. In order to receive basic service, and thus the communitychannel, subscribers must have a television that has a cableinput feed and must pay a hook-up fee and monthly charges.Because access is based on having the material and financialcapital to subscribe, cable is a more elite medium than regularbroadcast television. Thus, community television, althoughbased on a community/democratic rhetoric in policy documents, isnot really a community/democratic endeavour because only thosemembers of the community able to receive and afford cableservice have viewing access to it. In this way, communitytelevision embodies a certain elitism in that it is a servicefor those who can or will pay for cable television (whether ornot viewing access the community channel is a consideration).Even if one does subscribe to cable, the manner in whichprograms are scheduled may affect the public's has viewingaccess to them. For example, I undertook another informal148analysis of Rogers Community Program Schedules from 2 March 1992to 31 May 1992, in which three programs, identifiably productsof specific communities of interest, were tracked to determineat what times they were cablecast. In this way, it could bedetermined whether a large or small audience would have viewingaccess to them (see Figure 4). The programs, Chinatown Today --pertaining to the interests of the Vancouver Chinese community,East Side Story -- about issues salient to the East Side ofVancouver (characteristically "working class" with many ethniccommunities), and Prism -- a show dealing with gay and lesbianissues, were treated quite differently in the programmingschedule. Chinatown Today, a monthly program, is cablecast ona rotating schedule of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday at 9:00a.m., 11:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. respectively. Scheduling likethis is easy to remember and offers diversity in times and daysshown so that a wide group of people with differing schedulescan have viewing access to it.149FIGURE 4Analysis of Rogers Cable Channel 4 ScheduleDates and Times of Three Special Interest Programs2 March 1992 - 31 May 1992Chinatown Today^East Side Story^Prism22:00 Fri 27 Mar 21:00 Mon 2 Mar 23:00 Mon 2 Mar9:00 Thu 28 Apr 11:00 Thu 5 Mar 23:00 Thu 26 Mar11:00 Thu 30 Apr 22:00 Fri 6 Mar 23:00 Sat 28 Mar22:00 Fri 1 May 18:00 Sun 5 Apr 22:30 Sun 29 Mar9:00 Tue 26 May 21:00 Mon 6 Apr 23:00 Mon 30 Mar11:00 Thu 9 Apr 22:00 Wed 22 Apr22:00 Fri 10 Apr 22:30 Thu 23 Apr18:00 Sun 3 May 23:00 Mon 27 Apr21:00 Mon 4 May 22:00 Wed 27 May11:00 Thu 7 May22:00 Fri 8 May22:30 Thu 28 May11:00 Thu 28 MayThis was also the case regarding East Side Story. This programis also a monthly program which is cablecast live at 6:00 p.m.on Sundays and is subsequently "aired" on the following Monday,Thursday and Friday at 9:00 p.m., 11:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m.respectively. Prism, however, did not follow as diverse andsystematic a schedule other than that it is cablecast for 3 or4 days at the end of a month always at 10:00 p.m., 10:30 p.m. or11:00 p.m. While the data do not provide information regardingwhy Prism is scheduled at such a late hour, it is safe to saythat it does restrict viewers considerably. Thus, schedulingdecisions can affect whether a group with a program gets accessto viewers and vice versa. Again, it is the cable licensee whodevelops the schedules.150Because of the discursive nature of television and itsability to educate and socialize, program diversity is crucialin order that elite discourses are not continually reproduced asthe major structures and ideas of society. However,television's immense strategic value located in sophisticatedtechnology makes it an elite medium. Canada has made a move todemocratize television, to some degree, through federal policyprovisions for public access. However, there are a number oflimits to this access, as we have seen.In the next chapter, the historical and current context ofpublic access in the United States will receive similartreatment and culminate in a discussion of how policy provisionsin that country have limited the public's access to television.As in Canada, the potential for democratizing the medium is alsodiminished through policy provisions. An overview andcomparison of the limitations of the two contexts will follow inChapter Six.151CHAPTER FIVETHE UNITED STATES' CONTEXTUnited States' Broadcast History and Public Access Long before the Aird Commission queried the Canadian publicabout the shape and function broadcasting should take within itsborders, U.S. commercial radio broadcasters were forming theNational Association of Broadcasters (NAB). This organization,and numerous independent and amateur broadcasters, encouragedgovernment regulation of radio to allay the chaos of continualfrequency interruptions. The resulting legislation, the RadioAct of 1927, authorized the Federal Regulatory Commission (FRC)to allocate radio frequencies for the "public convenience,interest, or necessity". This standard is the foundation of the1934 Communications Act by which U.S. communications are stillregulated. Unlike Canada, the U.S. government did not form apublic component of the broadcasting system. Cole (1983),responding to Peers (1983), historically characterizes theAmerican broadcasting system:Peer's discussion gives the impression that all importantdevelopments in U.S. broadcasting policy have been thelogical, natural, and largely inevitable results ofcoherent principles and basic American traditions,including liberalism, competitive free enterprise, andthe merchandising of goods. In fact, many of thesignificant policy developments in American broadcastingresulted from a piecemeal, ad hoc decision-makingapproach and depended on timing, the presence and strongpredictions of a single government official, or dubiousjudgement. A number of important policies were adoptedonly by narrow margins in FCC or appellate court votes152(35) . 28The regulatory body,the Federal Communications Commission(FCC), was created by the Communications Act of 1934 from asuggestion by President Franklin Roosevelt to combine the FRCand the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) (Baughman, 1987:3).This body is charged with regulating interstate and foreigncommunication by cable, wire, radio and satellite (added in1962) "in the public interest" which includes broadcasting andtelecommunications. Like the CRTC, the FCC must enforceCongress's legislation and does report to the House but itoperates independent of Congress or any other governmental body.The Inspector General does conduct sporadic internal audits ofthe FCC, however, and reports to Congress as well (47 USC 35,151).The Radio Act of 1927 was created to regulatecommunications and "to provide for the use of such channels, butnot the ownership thereof, by individuals, firms, orcorporations, for limited periods of time, under licensesgranted by federal authority" (44 Stat. 1064). The FRC wascharged to administer the Act "as public convenience, interestor necessity require[d]" (Sec. 4). This phrase, commonlyreferred to as the "public interest standard", is what American28 McChesney (1990) argues that initially broadcasting had amore broad, grassroots base. However, lobbying efforts bycommercial broadcasters resulted in a system favourable to it whichwas finally entrenched with the passing of the Broadcasting Act of1934.153communications law and regulation is based. In contrast to theCanadian system, the American public can claim neither ownershipnor right to the air waves.Section 9 of the Radio Act of 1927 indicates that the FRC"shall make such a distribution of licenses, bands of frequencywave lengths, periods of time for operation, and of power amongthe different States and communities as to give fair, efficient,and equitable radio service to each of the same" (44 Stat.1166). This section would seem to place a responsibility uponthe FRC to provide access to communities i.e. the generalpublic. However, the Radio Act of 1927 was amended a year laterand this section was changed drastically. The new versionindicated that licenses were to be "allocated" not "distributed"and the word "community" was left off the list of those entitiesto whom licenses would fall. Rather, broadcasting licenses wentto "The States, the District of Columbia, the Territories andPossessions of the United States within each zone, eachaccording to population" (44 Stat. 373). Even before thegeneral public had an opportunity to utilize its provision forbroadcasting, the FRC chose to take its mandate as guardianseriously and operate television in the public's interest.Also, instead of licensing the general public or people forbroadcast use, as in the case of Canada, licenses were grantedto geographic zones which were to serve as a public trust.It was out of these two Acts that the Communications Act of1934 was developed. The tone and intent of the Communications154Act of 1934 is best presented through a verbatim quote of itsfirst Section:For the purpose of regulating interstate and foreigncommerce in communication by wire and radio so as to makeavailable, so far as possible, to all the people of theUnited States a rapid, efficient, Nation-wide, andworld-wide wire and radio communication service withadequate facilities at reasonable charges, for the purpose of the national defense, and for the purpose ofsecuring a more effective execution of this policy bycentralizing authority heretofore granted by law toseveral agencies and by granting additional authoritywith respect to interstate and foreign commerce in wireand radio communication, there is hereby created acommission to be known as the "Federal CommunicationsCommission", which shall be constituted as hereinafterprovided, and which shall execute and enforce theprovisions of this Act [emphasis added] (48 Stat. 1064).The Communications Act of 1934 clearly sets out thenational defense as the first order of business regardingcommunications use and policy. It adopts the provisions ofSection 9 of the Radio Act of 1928 for the granting of licensesbased on demographics. However, it does declare that the"people of all the zones...are entitled to equality of radiobroadcasting service, both of transmission and of reception" (48Stat. 1084). The Communications Act of 1934 refers to thisprovision as "equality of broadcasting service". While thisclause could be interpreted that entitlement to equaltransmission means entitlement to transmission access, theclause was not left long enough on the books to bear thatconclusion out. On 5 June 1936 it was amended again to read"the Commission shall make such distribution of licenses,frequencies, hours of operation, and power among the severalStates and communities as to provide a fair, efficient, and155equitable distribution of radio service to each of the same" (49Stat. 1475). This is the provision that remains to date -supplying justice and equality in reception and distribution ofradio service."Under the Communications Act, the FCC is vested with theauthority and responsibility to establish rules and grantlicenses as per the public interest standard (47 USC 1457). Thepublic's only express input into the system is through Section309 (d)'s option to petition to deny a television station itslicence during renewal proceedings.Fairness Doctrine Currently the United States has no provision for theregulation of program content. At one time, the FairnessDoctrine did make content provision through a requirement forbalanced treatment of issues. This provision was revoked in themid-1980s. Its importance as a precedent for public access totelevision cannot be overlooked. Thus, a discussion of itshistory and ultimate fate is in order.As mentioned, during the 1960s there was great pressure toafford the public some access to television. While Section 18of the Communications Act of 1934 required that broadcastersafford political candidates equal air time, this provision wasused to support balance for other issues of public interest.29 Communications Act Section 202 governing common carriersprovides that they are not to discriminate against people or areasre facilities or services. Such provisions are not indicated inother sections of the Act.156It would not be fair, indeed it would not be good serviceto the public to allow a one-sided presentation of thepolitical issues of a campaign. In so far as a programconsists of discussion of public questions, publicinterest requires ample play for the free and faircompetition of opposing views, and the commissionbelieves that the principle applies not only addresses bypolitical candidates but to all discussion of issues ofimportance to the public (FCC in Labunski, 1989:228).This interpretation of Section 18 set the stage for subsequentclaims from the public for the responsibility of broadcasters topresent balanced coverage of issues of public concern as well asto give the public access to television as one way to providebalance. FCC decisions and court cases provided furtherdefinition of this section in the public's favour. In Mayflower Broadcasting Corporation (1941), the FCC determined thatbroadcasters could not editorialize.^In the Matter ofEditorialization^Broadcast Licensees (1949), the decision wasreversed so that broadcasters could editorialize, but only oncondition that they provide balanced coverage of issues. 1959is cited as the year that the Fairness Doctrine was codified byCongress in an amendment to Section 315 which exempted newsprogramming from the equal opportunity rule for politicalcandidates (Pember, 1990:555). In Red Lion Broadcasting Corporation v. FCC (1967), the Supreme Court held that theFairness Doctrine was not only constitutional, it was animportant for safe-keeping First Amendment rights. However,between 1986 and 1988 a series of FCC and court decisionsresulted in President Reagan vetoing legislation in the Houseand Senate to retain the Doctrine. The Reagan administration,157with the express help of Judge Robert Bork of the U.S. Court ofAppeals for the District of Columbia, had removed the one pointof access for diverse views and public access. The FCCreasoning in this decision is as follows:Because of the growth in broadcast technology, scarcityof channels was no longer a problem. Consequently, onestation no longer had to present all points of view toinsure the public was well informed. Also, the chillingeffect on broadcasters who became timid rather than riskFairness Doctrine violations hurt rather than helped thepublic discussion of controversial issues. In additionthe agency said it could find no evidence that theCongress had ever made the doctrine a part of the law.Finally, the commissioners said the Fairness Doctrine wasa violation of the First Amendment. In making thisassertion the FCC flatly contradicted the Supreme Courtwhich in 1967 had ruled that the Fairness Doctrine wasindeed constitutional (Red Lion Broadcasting Corporation v. FCC, 1967:556).The United States enjoyed twenty years with a legal basisupon which to challenge the programming choices and practices ofcommercial broadcasters. Now that this provision has beenremoved, so has been the public's ability to claim legal rightto access or control of the content of broadcast media.These provisions show that the ideology underlying Americanbroadcasting is based on notions of guardianship and patronage.Both the FCC and licensed broadcast stations are expected to actin the public interest, an interest based on reception ofservice as opposed to participation in service. Not only ispublic access and input into the broadcasting system limited bythe Communications Act, the policy itself does not have acultural or social orientation similar to that of Canada'sBroadcasting Act. Rather than promote democratic participation158in the nation's communication system and affairs, theCommunications Act seems to "protect" established interests --particularly those that have to do with national defense. Thereis no mention of the First Amendment right to freedom of speechother than that the FCC has no jurisdiction to censorbroadcasters (49 Stat. 1090). Nationalism and U.S. identity aredefined negatively as interests needing to be "defended" fromoutside influences. On this account, broadcast licenses are notto be granted to "aliens" and non-citizens (49 Stat. 1064 and1086). Balance, once the basis upon which public access wasbased, now only pertains to the case of air time for politicalcandidates (49 Stat. 1088). Equality, justice and balance arediscussed in terms of signal reception or as something to beprovided by stations rather than achieved through publicparticipation. In the case of the American broadcasting system,the public has never really had access to broadcast technology.What little access it has had in the form of balancedrepresentation of issues through the Fairness Doctrine.Although some chose to allow the public access to represent anopposing view, this provision was still administered by privatebroadcasters.Foundations, Ideology and Current Provisions for Public Access Under circumstance similar to those of Canada, U. S. cablesystems were encouraged to provide public access through aninformal recommendation in by the FCC in 1969 (20 FCC 2d 201)and later as a requirement in 1972 (36 FCC 2d 143). As recorded159in the 1972 Report and Order, the FCC recommended that cablesystems serving 3500 or more subscribers provide specificallydesignated channels, public access being the one of interest inthis instance, in order that "the fundamental goals of anational communications structure be furthered by cable" (36 FCC2d 190). The FCC distinguished broadcast technology fromrebroadcast technology in the same manner as Canada, andlikewise perceived access as a way for cable companies toreinvest their profits in the community. The Commission wasquite vocal about the fact that many of the stances taken in the1972 Report and Order were experiments in the regulation and useof new cable technology. It was reluctant to impose toostringent requirements or provisions on cable stationsinitially, especially regarding public access. Refinements inthese provisions were codified as regulations in 1976 (37 RR 2d213).3°Cable regulation in America has been significantly affectedby court interpretations of law and FCC jurisdiction. Unlikethe situation in Canada, public access in the United States hasundergone a number of significant policy changes as a result ofcourt action which have affected its development. In the 1968case U.S. v. Southwestern Cable Co., the courts ruled that the3o the most part, cities and municipalities have had somecontrol over the activities of cable companies based on their powerto negotiate the terms of the franchise agreements. Not only havecities established rates for use of their public ways, they havealso been able to require public access provision as a condition offranchise agreement.160FCC did have regulatory jurisdiction over all cable systems (392USC 157). It was upon this decision that the FCC based itsauthority to require that cable systems offer public access.However, the FCC's actions were challenged twice by the MidwestVideo Corporation. The second challenge (1979) overturned theFCC's requirement of public access provisions on the groundsthat it was beyond the Commission's jurisdiction to regulate inthis manner (571 F.2d 1025 (8th Cir., 1978) & 99 S. Ct. 1435(1979)). Between 1979 and 1984, public access was no longerfederally required although the FCC encouraged cable stations toadhere to its previously set guidelines voluntarily. The legacyof this period is that public access has become the charge ofCity and State officials who may opt to require such provisionsas part of franchise agreements. 31The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 codified theinitiatives to amend the Communications Act of 1934 that wereset out in Congressional Bill H.R. 4103. This Act establisheda much needed national policy for the cable industry byproviding "standards which clarify the authority of Federal,state and local government to regulate cable through thefranchise process" (PL 98-549:24). In doing this, however,public access provision was relegated to the whimsy of localfranchising authorities as an optional element of franchise31 The legal and communications literature are virtually silentabout regulatory and cable action between 1979 and 1984.161agreements. 32^The Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984finally and officially relieved the FCC of any responsibilitiesfor public access.Current Public Access Provisions The City of Seattle Ordinance 105427, the CableCommunications Ordinance, was adopted in 1976 to "regulate inthe public interest the operation of cable communicationssystems and their use of the public streets" and undertake allof the provisions necessary in fulfilment of that charge(Subtitle V CATV Chapter 21.60: 21-89). It requires that cablecompanies, as a stipulation of their franchise agreement, mustprovide the three PEG access channels as part of basic service -- the public access channel, the educational channel and thegovernment channel. The Ordinance does not indicate upon whatthis adjudication has been premised -- free speech,inter-community communication, etc. Rather, it flatly statesthat this provision be made. It invests an Office of CableCommunications (OCC) with overseeing the franchising processalong with other informational and negotiating duties includingensuring that the cable franchisees are in keeping with FCCregulations. However, according to Deborah Lewis, the CableRegulator for the City of Seattle and the only member of theOCC, there is very little daily work regarding public access32 The public access channel is one of three publicinterest/public trust provisions. The other two are an educationalchannel specifically for educational programming and a governmentchannel on which local government proceedings can be aired. Thesepublic channels are often referred to jointly by the acronym PEG.162(personal communication, 8 April, 1992). The Ordinance alsoprovides for a Citizens' Cable Communications Advisory Board(CCCAB). This Board is comprised of 7 members who are appointedby the Mayor and approved by the City Council. The Board makesrecommendations to the Council on matters of franchising, ratesetting, subscriber complaints, PEG channels, cablecommunications policy, and grants and financial assistance inthe development of cable systems. The CCCAB and the OCC are toreview the Master Ordinance's public access requirementbi-annually to determine whether it should continue.The Master Ordinance contains guidelines for writing theFranchise Agreements which are legal contracts between the Cityand the cable companies (J. Giamberso, personal Communication,6 April, 1992). The terms of the Franchise Agreements areoperationalized in the Operating Rules and Procedures. Seattlecable franchisees are currently bound by the 1983 OperatingRules and Procedures which were developed out of the NorthwestFranchise District Agreement and the Master Ordinance.Seattle's Cable Ordinance requires that access channels beafforded to the public as part of the cable franchisee's basicservice. The shape that the public access channel takes isdependent upon the channel capability of the station. If astation has 12 channel capacity, it must provide public accesson a composite PEG channel. If it has twenty or more channels,it must provide an entire channel for educational, government orpublic access programming. Also, each district is to have163access to production facilities, free of charge, "on afirst-come, first-serve, nondiscriminatory basis" (21.60.090Sec. D: 21-94). Seattle has been divided into 5 geographicallydetermined franchise districts. Currently three cable companiesserve the 5 districts: Viacom and Summit Cablevision serve onedistrict each, and TCI serves two districts. The downtown areais currently "uncabled" (D. Lewis, personal communication, 8April, 1992).The franchising process consists of the City of Seattleissuing a "Request for Proposal" (RFP) which outlines the City'sneeds regarding the area to be served. Cable companies thensubmit proposals outlining the type of service they would supplyand the manner in which it would be undertaken. The Citychooses from among these proposals and the OCC assigns thechannels. The decisions are based upon whose response is "inthe best interest of the city and...would serve the citizens andthe community best" (D. Lewis, personal communication, 8 April,1992). There is little or no negotiation involved in thisprocess. When the City decides to accept a proposal, theunderstanding is that it will be implemented as originallysubmitted (D. Lewis, personal communication, 8 April, 1992).Cable franchisees sign and agree to operate under both theMaster Ordinance and the Franchising Agreement (J. Giamberso,personal communication, 6 April, 1992). Because four ofSeattle's five districts have already been franchised, theinitial franchising process remains only for the downtown area.164The other companies which already hold franchises must undergoa refranchising process in order to renegotiate and renew theiragreements. This is currently the case for TCI and Viacom.Summit Cablevision's franchise agreement will be ready forrenewal in eight years (J. Fernandez, personal communication, 6April, 1992).The public may contact the 0CC at any time with complaintsand other input regarding the cable process. The CableRegulator then contacts the various cable companies to pass suchinformation on. In a letter to the Seattle Times which requestspublic input, Parker Lindner, the Chair of the CCCAB indicatedthat citizens should send copies of their letters to the Boardsince the "cable office [0CC] does not share its letter fileswith the cable board [CCCAB]" (19 April, 1992). Of course, thepublic may provide input to either the Board, the 0CC or any ofthe cable franchisees at any time. Although it is theresponsibility of the 0CC to assess the needs of the communityunder federal law, there seems to be no documentation that theseefforts have been made and Lewis indicates that staffing andbudget cuts have made it virtually impossible (personalcommunication, 19 May, 1992). It is also the responsibility ofthe 0CC to promote the use of the public access channels and toattempt to secure funding for PEG channels generally. However,there is some question as to effort the 0CC has put into thischarge (P. Lindner, personal communication, 7 April, 1992;Fernandez, personal communication, 6 April, 1992).165Neither the federal Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984nor the Seattle City Ordinance stipulates a percentage ofoperating costs that franchisees must commit to public access.From a national perspective, this has been cited as one of thedrawbacks of the current system of regulation because it allowsso much regional variance in commitment to public access service(P. Manley, personal communication, 26 March, 1992).In Seattle, each franchisee independently funds its ownproduction facilities and TCI funds the playback facility.Franchise agreements specify funding as a level of service thatmust be provided rather than a specific dollar amount (S.Scowcroft, personal communication, 7 April, 1992). While the1984 Cable Communications Policy Act indicates thatmunicipalities may charge a franchise fee of up to 5% ofoperating costs, Seattle has chosen not to do so. Rather, itcharges cable companies 9% of their taxable income under theBusiness and Occupation tax. However, these monies are put intothe City's general fund (P. Lindner, personal communication, 7April, 1992; J. Fernandez, personal communication, 6 April,1992; S. Scowcroft, personal communication, 7 April, 1992).While 1.2% of the tax money is earmarked for the GovernmentChannel, and the Consortium of Community Colleges provides somemonies for the Educational Channel, there is no such financialarrangement for the Public Access channel. There is someindication, however, that local producers willing to putadditional funding into a production may do so (S. Scowcroft,166personal communication, 7 April, 1992).While the Master Ordinance makes no mention of whether thecommunity channel may or may not undertake commercial activity,the 1983 Operating Rules and Procedures regarding Public AccessFacilities and Channels indicate that public access andfacilities are non-commercial endeavours. As in Canada,however, a certain amount of credit sponsorship is allowed.There are community producers who try, overtly or covertly, toslip advertising into their productions. Since most programsare pre-screened, these kinds of transgressions are usuallyfound out and removed from the programming schedule (J.Fernandez, personal communication, 6 April, 1992). UnlikeCanada, cable companies take no responsibility for the contentof material cablecast on their public access channel.Franchisees may not "exercise any editorial control over anyvideo programming" (HR 4103:7). This theoretically prohibitsstations from denying access based on content. Although such aprovision would seem to give the public access channel of thecable station common carrier status, the 1984 CableCommunications Policy Act and the Seattle Master Ordinance areexplicit in indicating that this is not the case.Seattle's Master Ordinance does not specify how the matterof program scheduling is be undertaken, nor how the cablecastingof imported, bicycled or interconnected programming should beundertaken. The 1983 Operating Rules and Procedures do set outguidelines for program scheduling, indicating that local167programs should be given scheduling precedence over importedprogramming. These Rules and Procedures also indicate that thepurpose of public access facilities and channels is to "providean opportunity for public expression" through cable systems.In consideration of the potential of public accesstelevision, it is the intent of these rules to ensurethat access be provided to individuals or groups withinthe community for whom the alternate forms of televisionbroadcasting are generally unavailable. Also, they seekto preserve the diversity of such viewpoints andprogramming to reflect community needs (1983 OperatingRules and Procedures:1).These are the provisions afforded through the officialdiscourse of the 1984 Cable Communications Policy Act, the 1976Seattle Master Ordinance, and the 1983 Operating Rules andProcedures. While many of the tenets of the Communications Actare not overtly promoted in the language of these documents(promotion of the national defense, freedom of speech forbroadcasters, efficiency and centralized regulation) theirintent is realized through what is not provided for in thesepolicies. The policies afford the public the right to just andequal reception of service as well as the benefit of acommunications system that is regulated by federal or localgovernment as the guardian and patron of the public's interest.All members of the public are given equal opportunity to use theaccess to television afforded as well as equal opportunity forfavourable program scheduling. 33 There is no indication,n In my paper "The Multicultural Policy and ChangingDefinitions of Equality" I argue that equality based on an equalityof opportunity allows for the structural discrimination an equalityof results would not.168however, that the local provisions advocate an efficientcommunications or regulatory system that is premised oncentralized authority. In fact, it is interesting that althougheach one of these three policy documents derives its authorityfrom the document which precedes it in the hierarchy, there isvery little in the documents themselves to indicate that theyare formally related. Perhaps, as Cole suggested earlier, thisreflects the ad hoc nature of communications policy in theUnited States.The ideology upheld by adoption of the 1984 CableCommunications Policy Act which allows State and Municipalgovernments to require public access to television productionand programming as a condition of franchise can be tracedbroadly to cable technology's multi-station ability. Asdiscussed in Chapter Two, cable's multi-station capacity makesthe "scarcity rationale" for limited public access to televisionobsolete. In the FCC Report and Order of 3 February, 1972, theCommission noted that:Broadcast signals are being used as a basic component inthe establishment of cable systems, and it is thereforeappropriate that the fundamental goals of a nationalcommunications structure be furthered by cable -- theopening of new outlets for local expression, thepromotion of diversity in television programming, theadvancement of educational and instructional televisionand increased informational services of localgovernments...we believe there is increasing need forchannels for community expression, and the steps we aretaking are designed to serve that need. The publicaccess channel will offer a practical opportunity toparticipate in community dialogue through a mass medium169(36 FCC 2d 190). 34This statement does not reflect the ideological tenets ofthe Communications Act. Rather, it promotes local democraticparticipation and expression, diversity, and the educationalnature of the medium. Unfortunately, that so much is left tointerpretation provides loopholes which policy-makers at alllevels can use to further or avoid the intent stated if itserves their ends to do so. For example, "local/communityexpression" is not expressly defined as it is in Canadian policydocuments. Thus, "community" is a geographic identifier. Andwhile this legislation clearly puts a responsibility on thecable franchisee to provide production, programming and trainingaccess to the community, there is no requirement that it takeresponsibility for making the public aware of theseopportunities. Nor are franchisees responsible for the materialpresented on public access programming. Through this provision,the FCC promoted the tenets of a "democracy committed tofostering "uninhibited, robust, and wide-open" debate on publicissues" (36 FCC 2d 194). This Report and Order advocates commoncarrier status for the public access channel, a suggestion thathas not been accorded any serious consideration. The Report andOrder also suggests that dual regulation (federal and local) ofPEG stations would be "confusing and impracticable" (271).34 Note how nearly this statement construes cable technologyas an extension or equivalent to broadcasting. Even withstatements such as these, cable remains a re-broadcast technologywhich is regulated differently from broadcast systems.170However this sentiment is reversed in the 1984 CableCommunications Policy Act which requires regulation thatcombines local and federal control.The ideological foundations of early public access movementand legislation are much more liberal than those finalized inthe 1984 Cable Communications Policy Act. While both "eras" arebased on the traditional American goals of democracy and freedomof speech, after 1984 there is less discussion of theideological and philosophical foundations of the policy ofpublic access on cable television than there is unembellishedstatement of the policy alone. For example, in the 1984 CableCommunications Policy Act, section 611 states "the committeebelieves it is integral to the concept of the use of PEGchannels that such use be free from any editorial control orsupervision by the cable operator". This implies FirstAmendment protection, but there is no earlier discussion of whatthe "concept of the use of PEG channels" is. It is alsointeresting to note that the following section, Section 612 reCable Channels for commercial use, states clearly in its firstclause that "the purpose of this section is to assure that thewidest possible diversity of information sources are madeavailable to the public from cable systems in a mannerconsistent with the growth and development of cable systems" (47USC 532). That no such goal is clearly articulated in thesection on public access is curious. One can only speculate asto the intention behind the differences in each of these171sections.As indicated earlier, Seattle's Master Ordinance also makesno mention of the philosophical/ideological bases upon whichpublic access are premised. Again, it upholds the right to justand equal reception of service and expresses the state's poweras a guardian and patron able to require that private companiesfund and administer the public service of public accesstelevision at its behest. The specific purposes and premises ofpublic access are briefly outlined in documents such asSeattle's 1983 Northwest Franchise District Agreement and the1983 Operating Rules and Procedures. These promote the FirstAmendment right of public expression, democracy and equalitythrough the state's and private industry's responsibility toensure the community has access to television. There is noformal mention of the educative or socializing potential of thechannel. Of particular importance is the 1983 Operating Rulesand Procedures' proclamation that community television isintended specifically for "individuals or groups for whom thealternate forms of television broadcasting are generallyunavailable" (1). Not only does this statement recognize thatthere are "mainstream" and "alternate" forms of televisionbroadcasting, but that the public's access is at a premium.Cable System Policies and Public Access -- The Case of Seattle The above policies and regulations are interpreted andimplemented by three cable companies in the city of Seattle. Inorder to determine whether and to what degree these provisions172limit the public's access to television, it is necessary toconsider the situation of Seattle in detail. The followingdescription of the Seattle public access system is based on acombination of data sources: policy statements, public accessuser handbooks, program schedules and informal interviews withstaff at each of the three cable companies as well as the CableRegulator of the 0CC and the Chair of the CCCAB. This sectionwill focus, in large part, on the policies and procedures atTCI's Northwest Access and Production Centre since it is throughthis company and its facility that programming and schedulingdecisions for the City are made.Seattle serves its diverse population of 516,259 with threecable stations:operating veryRichmond/Burnabyseparate privateViacom, TCI and Summit Cablevision. Whilelike Rogers Vancouver and itsthese three stations are owned byand each operates a separate publicmuchnetwork,companiesaccess production centre. Shows produced at any one of theselocations are physically shipped to the NWA&PC where they areshown on Channel 29, a network-type station which airs on allthree cable stations. TCI is responsible for coordinating theprogram schedule at this Facility.Unlike the Rogers system in British Columbia which isinterconnected with other cable licensees throughout theprovince, the Seattle public access system is confined to thegreater Seattle area for the most part, even though TCI doeshave network capability outside of the Seattle area (see Figure1735). As indicated earlier, each franchisee has a differentagreement with the City although the three cable companies havecoordinated an interconnected community channel network whichruns programming from all 4 districts on one channel, Channel29. TCI, as the largest company serving the largest area in thecity, has the responsibility of programming the Public AccessChannel. It does this at its playback facility, the NorthwestAccess and Production Centre. Also, TCI and SummitCablevision's franchise agreements require that they supplyproduction facilities and staff. Because Viacom's franchiseagreement predated the City's development of more formal publicaccess stipulations for cable operators, it is not required toprovide production facilities. However, Viacom has decided toprovide such facilities as a demonstration of good corporatecitizenship (J. Giamberso, personal communication, 6 April,1992). The three systems serve roughly 350,000 subscribers --a 50% penetration of the Seattle area (S. Scowcroft, personalcommunication, 7 April, 1992). 35 It should be noted that SummitCablevision, which serves the Central District and the Downtownarea, was set up specifically to represent the dense "minority"populations in these areas (P. Lindner, personal communication,7 April, 1992). According to Fernandez, the Program Director at35 The statistics are not consistent here. Fernandez, ProgramDirector at Summit Cablevision, indicated that public access showsto 350,000 potential subscribers (personal communication, 6 April,1992). Lewis indicated that the actual numbers of basicsubscribers is 75,000 for TCI, 54,900 for Viacom and 6400 forSummit -- a total of 136,300 (personal communication, 8 April,1992).174Summit Cablevision, 30-40% of Summit subscribers live in theCentral District primarily a "low-end, Project, African-Americancommunity", the South End area is comprised of "workingclasses", and the Beacon Hill area can be characterized as anAsian community. "Of all of the cable companies in Seattle,Summit Cablevision definitely has the most diverse subscriberpopulation" (Fernandez, personal communication, 6 April, 1992).FIGURE 5Depiction of Greater Seattle's Cable System36TCI Cable ________141^TCI'sSystem^----- NWA&PCIcable cable^Viacom^SummitC C headend-----4 sub headend ^ Cable  CableSystem SystemNWFranchiseAreaC^e..^C^c I^I I^ISouth King^Auburn IssaquahCountyTCI's NWA&PC = Site of Program Distribution and Main Sitefor Interview and Data CollectionM = Interconnected by MicrowaveC = Interconnected by Coaxial CableAs in the case of Canada, each of these cable facilitiesoperates under corporate policy which combines federal and36Only detail of TCI Network is shown.W. Seattle175municipal policy with industry guidelines.^As well, thecorporate policies are not available for public examination buttheir intent is, in large part, articulated in the statements ofpolicy set out in the various Policy Handbooks.As a famous philosopher once said, "Public Access iscommunity programming made by the community for thecommunity" (Summit Cablevision Public Access Q & A:1).We recognize that community public access is a newcommunity communications medium and that its value to thecommunity rests on the assumption that the widestpossible dissemination of information, from diverse andantagonistic sources, is essential to the welfare of thepublic (Viacom Cablevision Public Access Guidelines:3).The purpose of the Northwest Access and Production Centeris to provide a means for individuals and groups tocommunicate with other Seattle Area Residents via CableTelevision. TCI seeks to ensure that individuals andgroups within the community are afforded access toalternative forms of telecasting which are otherwisegenerally unavailable. Our goal is to assist communitymembers using video communications tools to independentlyexpress their own ideas....Each citizen...will have anequal opportunity to learn how to use NWA&PC equipmentand facilities....TCI strongly upholds every individual'sright to free speech. Through Public Access, residentsof the greater Seattle area are given an opportunity topresent their views, experiences, values and talentsunencumbered by financial, philosophical or politicalconstraints (TCI Policy Handbook, 1989:1).These statements are in keeping with the intent of thepolicies and policy documents issued by the FCC and the City ofSeattle. Public access television is an opportunity for thegeneral public to communicate through the medium of television.Notable is the degree to which these statements of corporatepolicy emphasize the local/community nature of public accesstelevision.Rather than describe each franchisee's access policies and176procedures, the following section will outline those at TCIwhich will serve as a model of public access interpretations andimplementations by cable franchisees. Any major differencesbetween the franchisees will be noted.Any person or group wishing to produce a television showmust undergo an orientation and training process. Eligibilityis extended free of charge and on a "first come, first serve"basis to any non-profit adult or group residing in the Seattlearea. Minors may use equipment and facilities if sponsored byan adult resident and supervised by an adult at all times. Allinterested individuals, whether skilled in the technicalities ofvideo production or not, must attend a 2-3 hour orientationsession which outlines the goals, procedures and restrictions ofthe cable franchisee/community producer relationship.After the orientation meeting, individuals must becertified on each process and piece of equipment before they canwork autonomously. This usually takes the form of one-on-onetraining, however development workshops and technical assistancesuch as Basic Introduction to Editing, Audio, Lighting, CameraProduction, etc., are offered on an ongoing basis.Community producers must submit a program proposal andcomplete storyboard of their program ideas to the ProductionCoordinator or appropriate personnel.Production and program originators, producers and crewsare expected to be aware of potential and actual programcontent. Programming submitted for cablecasting isexpected to be free of lotteries, advertising,defamation, obscenity and other restrictions inaccordance with the rules as set forth by the City of177Seattle and the Northwest Access and Production Center(NWA&PC Policy Handbook: 12).Denial of access cannot be based on program content unless it isillegal as defined by the City of Seattle which looks to FCC andother federal statutes. Pre-submitted program proposals allowthe cable company to determine what are the technical needs andcosts of a production idea. It also allows staff to givetechnical advise and direction for the production of theprogram. Staff are not to shape or affect the content ofprograms in any way. The decision to give a community producerproduction and editing time is based on that producer'sapplication for access. Apparently, no other considerationsfigure into this equation.While content is not restricted, the technical quality ofa program must meet certain standards. Currently, videotapesmust be an NTSC signal on 3/4 inch tape with acceptable audio."Criteria to be used to determine technical suitability willrelate to image stability and not aesthetics" (NWA&PC PolicyHandbook: 12).The TCI Policy Handbook is dominated by concern withtechnical quality, explanations and information regarding thelogistics of operation of the station, equipment use, programselection and cablecasting and, primarily, scheduling in all ofthese areas. Unlike the Rogers manual, there is no focus onjournalistic style, how to shape program content, or how acommunity producer should comport oneself in the process ofgathering program data and material.178The Copyright Act of 1976 applies to public accessvideotape productions. "Fair Use" principles indicate thatpublic access producers may use copyrighted material only tosupplement the original production and must seek permission touse copyright material if it exceeds the "Fair Use" guidelines.The producer of the public access program owns the program andthe copyright to the program, is responsible for its content,but is not allowed to sell it. A program produced at any of thepublic access production centres must be aired on Channel 29.It may also be aired for non-profit use and may be circulated toother cable franchisees or broadcast television stations.Programs that are potentially controversial, offensive orinclude sensitive material should contain a disclaimerindicating this to be the case. In this way, the NWA&PC staffare notified of this fact and can alert the Centre and thepublic of the controversial nature of the product. Evidently,this kind of content will not have an affect on whether a showwill be cablecast or not (S. Scowcroft, personal communication,7 April, 1992).Channel 29 cablecasts locally produced material from 2:00P.M. to 11:00 P.M. daily (9 hours) and TCI is responsible fordeveloping the program schedule for the channel. Asophisticated "lottery" system has been developed wherebyscheduling decisions can be made without regard for programcontent. The lottery assists in deciding in program placementon the schedule as well as whether a series actually gets on the179channel. Community producers (program originators) self-selecttheir preferred cablecasting times and submit these for lottery.Live programs have top priority, followed by local originalprograms, imported original programs, local re-run programs, andimported re-run programs. The distinction between local andimported is based on whether a program was produced at one ofthe Seattle production facilities or whether it was produced atanother facility by a Seattle resident.We wanted to make it almost like "scheduling by numbers".If there is a program that is a controversial program, Iwant to be able to protect the Centre from drawing firefor being responsible for the airing of thiscontroversial programming. I would very much like toinsulate the institution from the political winds thatblow given the nature of many of the public accessprograms. Some say public access at its best is publicaccess that draws fire. So by virtue of having very cuta dry formulas by which these programs can find theairwaves, we are able to preserve the First Amendmentright -- the protected speech, the ability of citizens tobe able to air their program -- and at the same time givethe Centre the power to continue to schedule it even ifit is unpopular (S. Scowcroft, personal communication, 7April, 1992).None of the Policy Handbooks indicates policy regardingbicycling and interconnection. However, Scowcroft reports thatTCI cablecasts a limited amount of imported programming, hardlyany bicycled programs, and does not engage in interconnectionbeyond the municipal network of TCI, Viacom and SummitCablevision and TCI's network in the greater Seattle area.One of the phenomenas is that there is not a great dealof cross-community communication. Partially that isbecause people are very provincial...but also there is asmuch [local] program material as there is available airtime. So, while we don't discourage import programming,we put it at a lower priority....This is true, not of allbut, at many access facilities across the country. So,180there is built into the system a discouraging aspect ofhaving non-local voices being expressed on the channel(S. Scowcroft, personal communication, 7 april, 1992).Public access to television is a non-profit venture.Individuals or group producers who attempt to use the station tosolicit monies, promote commercial products or promote one sideof a political debate are denied access. Access is also deniedon the basis of improper use of equipment or facilities,mis-representation of producers as cable station employees, andfailure to abide by the stated rules and procedures.This outline of the policies which outline the role andresponsibilities of Seattle cable public access suppliersindicate that the cable companies are merely a conduit throughwhich the general public may exercise its First Amendment rightto freedom of speech and the ideal of democratic participation.Thus, public access policies at this level are concerned withachieving the conditions which would provide a fair structure inorder that such activity may take place. For the most part,company policy documents operationalize the provisions affordedthrough Seattle's Master Ordinance and the Operating Rules andProcedures. However, the degree to which they are mere recipesfor the act of physically getting access to equipment andfacilities is astounding. Notable, in particular, was theamount of confusion surrounding who should take responsibilityfor 1) seeking public input into the shape and operation ofcommunity channels, 2) additional funding or a new fundingstructure, and 3) keeping the public informed about and involved181in the ongoing process of public access policy-making.As indicated earlier, it is the express charge of the OCCto take responsibility for the three duties outlined above. Ofcourse, these are three charges among the many required for thegeneral regulation of all of the other aspects of cable systems.The Advisory Board is to assist in a non-binding, advisorycapacity in all of these duties. The Board is comprised ofseven members who are appointed by the Mayor with approval ofthe City Council. They are to serve three year terms indesignated seats: two for public access, one for the cableindustry, one for education, and three members at large.According to Lindner, the CCCAB Chair, while the Board haspressed for action in the above three areas, the OCC has beenremiss in all of these tasks.You cannot assume that the City is operating the way theordinance states. In my opinion, the City is almost incontempt of its own ordinance. It has changed the rules.There is supposed to be a Cable Office which has control-- it does not. They have de-funded the Cable Office.Years ago they put it under Licensing and ConsumerAffairs. There seems to be a lot of manoeuvring comingfrom the Mayor's Office. The people on City Council --we have a fairly new council who have just picked up thestrings -- they don't have any information. Debbie[Deborah Lewis, the Cable Regulator in the OCC] istechnically the person but she doesn't seem to have muchpower. So, it is pretty hard to read at this point(personal communication, 7 April, 1992).Lindner further explains these charges in a letter to theSeattle Times:It [the City] failed to provide a support mechanism forconstituents who wished to make the three non-commercialcable channels (public, educational and governmentaccess) viable. It disempowered its citizen's advisoryboard, refusing to provide it secretarial support and182never created a charter that would allow advisory boardmembers to clearly understand their roles and powers.The city earns somewhere around $4 million a year fromcable company business-and-occupation taxes (29 March,1992).Lewis indicates that the 0CC has been severely limited bystaff and budget cuts (personal communication, 8 April, 1992).But also, her Department Head has requested that the Board keepits own minutes and that cable franchisees take the initiativefor making their services known to the public. These unilateraldecisions of the Licensing and Consumer Affairs Department areexpressed nowhere in writing. As a result, the City of Seattlehas created a certain amount of confusion regarding theimplementation of the public access system so that now itoperates as much on tradition and "understandings" as it does onformal policy provisions (S. Scowcroft, personal communication,7 April, 1992).Provisional and Procedural Limits to Access Americans are afforded public access to television only ifsuch is required by local governments. This is the case inSeattle. However, as in Canada, policy structures andprovisions in the U.S. tend to limit the public's access totelevision. In cases where the interpretation of the Americancontext is similar to that of Canada, this will be indicated sothat one may refer to the Provisional and Procedural Limits toAccess section of Chapter 4.In the second Midwest Video Corporation v. FCC (1979) case,when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was beyond FCC183regulatory jurisdiction to require that cable stations providepublic access to the general public. This decision eroded thepublic's access on the first count, access to the production andprogramming process, significantly. No longer was televisionaccess a federally required provision, it became a situationalprovision dependent upon the decisions of local government.Many municipalities have decided to require that cable stationsprovide access to the public. However, local determination ofthe type of provisions and the terms of access results in non-standardized interpretations of access or access differentials.In Washington State, how Thurston County defines access haslittle or nothing to do with how King County defines access. InSeattle, the Master Ordinance does not indicate the philosophyor ideology behind the provisions for access; yet, it doesrequire that cable stations provide access. Thus, thephilosophical and political orientation of local governmentlargely determines the public access climate.Scowcroft has characterized public access governance as"fiercely local"; likening it to local governance of schoolingthrough school Boards (personal communication, 7 April, 1992).While local control may be more attuned to the needs and desiresof the community, it can also subordinate the needs of someconstituents of the community to the benefit of others -- aprocess that can easily occur from entrenched traditions andhierarchies. In this way, a municipal government which is warythat public access provisions would work against it might not be184inclined to provide such access. Seattle has not taken anovertly resistant stance and, thus, the public does have accessto three different production facilities.Some of the interviews produced comments to the effect thatthe public's access might be less limited by more stable andincreased funding (J. Fernandez, personal communication, 6April, 1992; P. Lindner, personal communication, 7 April, 1992).The current franchise structure is set up so that franchiseesagree to invest a certain level of service rather than a fixeddollar amount for public access. In Seattle, the level ofservice provided by each franchisee is different. This isevident through the amount of equipment and control that anyparticular franchisee has over the public access process orproduct. TCI, because it has agreed to provide a high level ofservice, not only maintains the best facilities and equipment,it also exercises the most control over programming andscheduling. Conversely, Summit Cablevision neither has the samefunding base for public access as the other two franchisees, noris required to provide the same level of service. One exampleof this access differential is that Summit Cablevision does nothave a mobile van while the other two franchisees do. Theultimate result is that the population geographically proximateto this studio -- those most likely to use its public accessfacilities -- have access to a facility with less sophisticatedequipment and less control over programming and scheduling thanthose populations proximate to the other public access185providers. The Summit Cablevision studio is located in SouthSeattle, a low income community of which 61% can becharacterized as African-American. Whether this currentarrangement has been developed by design, as was the originalinception of Summit Cablevision, or by chance; those who usethis facility do not have access to the range of equipmentavailable at the other facilities. Fortunately, Seattleresidents are able to use all three facilities although SouthSeattle residents must travel farther for more up-to-dateequipment. This is not to say that Summit Cablevision does notprovide quality public access -- what it does do it does well.Rather this is to say that its facilities and equipment arelimited in comparison with the other two. A further negativeresult of public access television that is based on themaintenance of pre-agreed levels of service is that there is noprovision for improvement of service. Both of these problemswith the current access structure are attributable, in part, topolicies which allow public access to be afforded in this way.Increases in funding could be used to provide more andbetter quality equipment and increased staffing. Fundingquotas, such as Canada requires of its cable licensees, oroutside funding through public and/or private grants is crucialfor the ongoing growth of community television. However,budgetary increases would have to be accompanied by changes inthe terms of the franchise agreement for public accessprovision. There would have to be some way to ensure that186additional monies would be put toward public access improvementsspecifically. If no one is made responsible for funding issues,they are overlooked. Even when the responsibility has beenspecifically designated, as it has been to Seattle's OCC, suchmatters easily fall through the cracks.Funding is also important because of the effect it has ona product's technical quality -- one of the few criteria thatAmerican cable franchisees can use to deny access todistribution. In the case of Seattle, TCI's NWA&PC must attemptto schedule all of the programs which are submitted to itsfacility (no content restrictions apply as a result of FirstAmendments rights). However, the Center may deny access on thebasis of poor technical quality. One may refer to the Canadiancontext for a full treatment of the issues and implications onthis matter. It should be noted, though, that this provisionmay affect individuals from certain areas disproportionately ifthe equipment available to them is older and produces a lowerquality product -- a problem exacerbated by the incredible rateat which new technologies are developed and with ever-increasingquality. It is also important to note that this is one of thefew subjective decisions that U.S. cable franchisees may makeregarding whether to "accept" a program for cablecasting or not.As with any discretion, such latitude can be easily be abused."Even if all programs are accommodated in the schedule,Having a lottery system, as has TCI, does not necessarilypreclude staff from making executive decisions to schedule programsoutside of the lottery framework.187Channel 29 "airs" for only 9 hours per day. That there is notmore time for either multiple showings of local programs or thedistribution of bicycled and imported public access programs isa limitation and, perhaps, poor use of such an importantfacility.These are the primary ways that the public's access to thetelevision production and programming process is limited inSeattle. The policy documents at all levels are consistent instating that the public's access to production is nearlyunquestioned. This does seem to be the case although the cablefranchisees' discretion, particularly as regards programmingaccess, can limit a community producer's access to televisionsignificantly. However, if and when such actions occur, they donot reflect the intent of the policy provisions.Regarding the public's access to input into the shape andfunction of public access television, both policy provisions andtheir interpretation and implementation limit this activity.Because the FCC has passed the responsibility for providingpublic access to local municipalities, it is beyond the scope ofthe federal body to solicit public input on this issue. InSeattle, the 0CC is the only body formally required to gatherpublic input on public access television but it has not done soin recent years. What information the 0CC does gather on otherconcerns is not always made available to the Advisory Board (D.Lewis, personal communication, 19 May, 1992; P. Lindner,personal communication, 7 April, 1992). The Advisory Board, a188structure less elite than that comparable body in Canada, mayhave excellent access to public input but has no formalauthority to ensure that such information is noted and utilizedin policy development and implementation. At the level of thefranchisee there are no formal provisions for gathering publicinput although, as in Canada, all three companies indicate thatinformation is garnered informally. Finally, the actualfranchise agreements' terms are for such long periods of time(10-15 years) that public input into the initial negotiations iscrucial in order that a positive public access system results.It is also during that time that functional mechanisms forpublic input would be designed. As it stands, franchisenegotiations seem to be primarily agreements between the citygovernment and private communications companies. The public'sformal input is sorely missing from this picture.Limits to the distribution of public access programmingmost significantly affect the American public. As in Canada,Americans do not have access to broadcast technology as a resultof policy decisions and precedents based on the "scarcityrationale". Thus, public access is limited to the physicaldistribution constraints of an individual cable franchisee'ssystem. Yet, even when cable systems are interconnected, thepublic access portion often remains localized through schedulingdecisions (local programming is chosen over importedprogramming). The result of limited distribution is thatinter-community communication is limited. As discussed in the189treatment of this issue in the Canadian context, the public'sexpression and participation is effectively limited to the micro-local area. This is particularly so in the Seattle areafor two reasons: 1) the governing and regulatory system forpublic access is invested in local governments and 2) mostcities' cable distribution systems do not cablecast beyond thegreater metropolitan area -- as is the case in Seattle.Finally, as in Vancouver, the public's access to viewingcommunity television is dependent upon subscription to cablebasic service and to the public access channel's schedulingtechniques. Seattle cable franchisees sell their basic servicefor a fee -- a practice which limits public viewing of the cablechannel to those who can afford to subscribe. According toCCCAB Chair Lindner (1992a), Seattle's cable companies charge"some of the highest rates in the nation". It is difficult todetermine the degree to which subscriber fees, and particularlysubscriber fees of a certain dollar amount, inhibit the public'sability or desire to subscribe to cable television. This wouldbe a fruitful area for further study. Nonetheless, that a feeis charged at all limits the public's access to communitytelevision.I undertook an informal content analysis of communityprogramming in Seattle which shows, first, that an overwhelmingamount of it is religious. In one week of scheduling (2 Feb,1992 - 8 Feb, 1992), 37 out of 98 programs were identifiablyreligious from their titles (38%). While some of these programs190are imported (e.g. Lectures by Louis Farrakhan) the majority arelocally produced (M. Lofson, personal communication, 19 May1992). 38 Second, as in the case of Canada, certain programs areconsistently scheduled in the later hours of 23:30 or 24:00(e.g. Real to Reel, Sister Paula, Manifest Arts, Scientology,Gavin's House, Dad's T.V. Network)." Outside of religiouslyoriented material it is difficult to determine what type ofprograms these are by their titles and, on this account,speculation about program placement in the schedule isdifficult. Programs do tend to be given a weekly time slot(Greek American in Profile: 22:30 Mondays; Gays for Jesus: 19:00Tuesdays; Young, Gifted and Black: 19:00 Wednesdays; Women WhoWin: 17:30 Wednesdays; Northwest Gay and Lesbian Focus: 22:00Wednesdays; and Pure Black Recreation: 21:30 Fridays).Scheduling programs in this way makes it easy to remember whenthey "air" but makes it difficult for those who would wish toview a particular show but cannot be present at the scheduledtime. TCI does change scheduling times at the start of a newprogramming season. Thus, between 18 Feb, 1992 and 31 Mar, 1992the program Gays for Jesus was cablecast at 19:00. But starting38 Evidently religious programming is easily produced becausemany religious ceremonies are 'stage events' that occur weekly.One camera on a tripod may capture the event satisfactorily. Thismay exemplify how a first come, first serve system might result ina significant amount of one type of programming or of much accessto a few groups." According to Scowcroft, scheduling is done by lottery andis therefore relatively "unbiased" (personal communication, 7April, 1992).191from 7 April, 1992, it had a new "air" time of 23:00. In thisway, some scheduling variation is maintained.That the Seattle public only has access to 9 hours ofcommunity programming limits both programming and viewingaccess. Also, that some programs are consistently scheduled ata late hour results in limitations for viewers as well aslimitations to the program's reach. However, further study ofprogram types and scheduling procedures would have to beundertaken to determine whether these programs are beingactively "shunted" into the later time slots."The American Public's access has been most affected by theFCC's decision to make television access a local concern. Thishas resulted in a number of municipalities not requiring thatthe public have access to cable production and programmingfacilities. In Seattle, however, the public's access has beenlimited primarily by provisions which allow so muchdiscretionary interpretation and which are so decentralized thatthe public cannot be assured a certain level of service. Thisis particularly the case as regards the City's role in ensuringthat public access be a vital component of the cable systemthrough fundraising, outreach, monitoring franchisee activities,40 Delicacy of subject matter would seem to be the majorconsideration in this instance although this information was notspecifically asked of interviewees. If delicacy is the case, is ita fair consideration? Why is violence, or heterosexual sexuality,any more acceptable on television than homosexual depictions andconcerns? Prism's marginalization in the marginalized venue ofcommunity television demonstrates the difficulty certain "minority"groups have in claiming legitimate time and space on the mainstreamtelevision screen.192as well as collaborating with the CCCAB. On this account, cablefranchisees have had the primary responsibility for defining andimplementing public access. Even Viacom, which chooses to offerpublic access facilities as a public service even though it isnot a requirement of its franchise agreement, takes on adefining role. While Viacom does adhere to the 1983 OperatingRules and Procedures, it does have the ability to selectproduction and programming opportunities along with itsresponsibility to accommodate those members of the publicwishing to use its facilities. Thus, it has a certain latitudeto target community producers, groups and events for specificcommunity outreach projects. These have informational andcommunication value for the general public as well as publicrelations value for Viacom (J. Giamberso, personalcommunication, 6 April, 1992; S. Scowcroft, personalcommunication, 7 April, 1992). The degree to and manner inwhich Viacom's latitude affects its obligation is unknown. Nordoes Viacom's unique situation change the fact that Seattle'sregulatory body (OCC) and its advisory arm (CCCAB) comprise alargely dysfunctional system. Because of this, the privately-owned cable companies which undertake the day-to-day operationof public access are likely to have more latitude and autonomythan originally intended by the state, or than benefits thepublic.The situation outlined here is not a result of the policyprovisions proper.^However, it may be the legacy of a193decentralized government and a deregulated industry whichoperate on an ad hoc basis. If nothing else, the sheerconfusion about regulations and procedures makes it difficult tohold any one entity responsible for the adequate execution ofpolicies and duties. For those members of society not privy tothe intricacies of such a system, this kind of confusion is abarrier to participation. Not only is the public at a loss ofhow to use the provisions to its advantage, it is also confusedabout where to turn for clarifying information or direction.When it is so difficult to gain information and access, thenumber of people seeking it in the end will be substantiallyless than the number who might had the procedures not been socumbersome. This arrangement certainly benefits elite controlof television and its power because the access and controlstructure remains largely the same.This is not to say that those in government and/or industrywho do have increased access to television have unlimitedcontrol or power over the medium. Nor it is suggested that thecurrent system is an active conspiracy to keep television out ofthe hands of the public or away from diverse public issues.Rather, the point is that some of the policy language and theresultant structures, by virtue of their ideals not beingrealized, are ideological in a way that promotes an hegemony ofthose elite who can and do control the definition and operationof television broadcasting. In the case of the United States,the deregulation and decentralization of communications policies194and policy-making bodies seems to undermine that essential tenetof the Communications Act -- that communications providers mustoperate in the public interest. Instead, this moral onus ofresponsibility to and for the public has been shifted so that,more and more, government and industry protect establishedinterests rather than use their privilege in the public'sinterest (Nader & Riley, 1988). In such a climate, publicaccess to television is important. However, it is apparent thatsignificant improvements to various communications policies(i.e. The Communications Act) as well as the structure andfunction of the current system should be undertaken. Only inthis way will the intent of the local access policies and of theFirst Amendment be realized.195CHAPTER SIXCONCLUSIONSimilarities and Differences in Access Limitations If one holds that the similarities in policies and limitsto access may derive, at least in part, from similarities in thesocial and political structure and ideology of Canada and theU.S., then it follows that dissimilarities would derive fromdifferences between the countries. This chapter outlines andanalyses some of the more salient similarities and differencesbetween the Canadian and American public access provisions andsystems. Generally, Canada and the U.S. have similar accessdifferentials, amounts of local programming and rhetorical usesof bicycling and interconnection as a way to increase thedistribution and program distribution of a publicly producedshow. Differences between the countries can be found in thedesignation of who is ultimately responsible for programmingcontent, whether and how advertising is used on the channel, andthe manner in which community producers are trained.As we have seen, Canada makes federal provision for thepublic's access to television but has created a certain accessdifferential through the manner in which it classes anddistributes licenses. Because Canada has distinct geographicareas that are populated by specific cultural populations (e.g.Quebec, the Northwest Territories), and because the licenseclass of cable systems serving these communities is often small,the community television facilities and services offered are196limited. Thus, certain Canadian populations are not affordedaccess.^The rationale for this differential is based onarbitrary license classifications.^There is nothing in thepolicy documents to suggest that this differential is anintended result of the CRTC's regulation; however, this would bea fruitful area for further study.A similar access differential is created through federalpolicy in the United States. This country is more denselypopulated and cultural pockets are not found on the largegeographic scale as is the case in Canada. Giving localgovernments control of the decision of whether and to whompublic access television may be provided can result in the samekind of access differential for certain, often "minority",populations. However, it is based on denying access to localand culturally specific areas rather than large sections of thecountry. One need only to look at the current state of publiceducation in the United States to know that local governmentscan and will provide differential access and service to"minority" populations if given the chance (Meier, Stewart &England, 1989). The rationale for inequitable allocations ofaccess cannot be cited in the case of the U.S. because the powerto afford access has been decentralized and access decisions arebased on the particular situation of each municipality. Theability of local government to create an access differential isapparent, to some degree, in Seattle where the proposal forservice by Summit Cablevision was accepted by the municipal197government even when the company proposed public access servicesand facilities to that district far below the level of the other3 districts.Although there are these access differentials (and movementshould commence to equalize access for all), there are thosecommunities in each country that have been solidly provided withcommunity television access. The cases of Vancouver and Seattlehave provided evidence to suggest that there are characteristicways that each country limits the public's access to televisioneven when it has been provided.Although Vancouver's Channel 4 "airs" 14 hours a day ofprogramming in contrast to Seattle's Channel 29's 9 hours a day,it is safe to say that they both show an equal amount of localprogramming. This is largely due to differences in the amountof "complementary", bicycled, interconnected and/or importedprogramming that each system distributes.An estimated 75% of the programming cablecast by TCI islocally produced so that 6.75 hours per day are devoted to localprogramming. In Canada, 40% of the programming is bicycled orinterconnected (5.6 hours) which leaves 8.4 hours of locallyoriginated programming -- a figure further eroded by provisionswhich allow for "complementary" programming and re-plays. Evenif complementary programming is slated for 2 hours per day,resulting in a remainder of .8 hours (48 minutes) of localprogram time, it is likely that a good portion of this will beused for program identification, communication of the schedule198notices, etc.^Thus, Seattle and Vancouver cablecast similaramounts of local programming.While it was argued earlier that bicycled, interconnected,and imported programming is one way to increase inter-communitycommunication, whether this is actually the case is difficult todetermine. In Canada, it seems that "complementary" programmingcomprises the bulk of what is bicycled and interconnected.Because these programs are usually not "pure" public accessproducts, their presence on the channel does limit the public'saccess to the "airtime".In the U.S., bicycled or imported material usually is"autonomously" produced. However, the combination of its lowpriority in the scheduling process and the limited distributionrange of the U.S. Community Channel also considerably minimizesits impact as a method of diversifying television programming.In both of these cases, limits to the increased inter-communitycommunication that bicycling and interconnection could provideare limits to the effect of the public's voice on televisiondiscourse generally - whether on the community channel or not.The dissimilarities between the access provisions and theirimplementation are interesting. In America, community producersare fully responsible for program content. This provisionrestricts the American public's expressive latitude less than inCanada. Under the rubric of the near-indisputable sovereigntyof First Amendment rights, and because franchisees do notconsult during the production process, a clear distinction can199be made between the opinions of the cable franchisee and thelocal originator. It is likely that franchisees would prefer tohave a certain amount of content control, as is the case inCanada, in order that public access programs might not reflectpoorly on the channel and/or the cable franchisee. As itstands, both the municipality and the franchisees take a hands-off approach to ensure that they cannot be faulted for impedingFirst Amendment rights (D. Lewis, personal communication, 8April, 1992). Considering the prominence of this firstamendment to the Constitution, there is little indication thatthere will be changes to this provision in the near future orthe manner in which community production processes are shaped.Because Canadian cable licensees are responsible forprogram content, they operate under similar premises as those ofthe defunct U.S. Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine wasdetermined unconstitutional and revoked on grounds that itimpeded First Amendment rights. This provision in Canada imbuesthe cable licensee with the power of a public guardian or patronwho must regulate in the public's interest -- a responsibilityprofessed in American and not Canadian policy. While the UnitedStates' use of the Doctrine was reactive -- used by the publicto limit the latitude of broadcasters in their programming, theCanadian provision is proactive but used by the government andcable licensees to limit the public's expressive latitude.Community channels in Canada have had their profit-makingpotentials increased as a result of policies which broaden the200interpretation of sponsorship and advertising. This is changinglicensees' consideration and treatment of the channel -- theyare keen to ensure that programming is favourable in content andimage in order to develop, or maintain, a large viewingaudience. Thus, licensees such as Rogers Vancouver try toproduce programming that has technical and artisticsophistication. Programs with these qualities requireprofessional technical and artistic expertise as well as outsidefunding. It is in this way that the CRTC's decision to continueto advance the advertising potential of the community channelhas given licensees an excuse for mediating the public's "pure"production and programming opportunities with a more commercialnotion of program ideas and technical and artistic standards.Although the public's autonomy is eroded, one benefit of suchprogramming is that it is sophisticated and aestheticallypleasing. Thus, it merits an increased distribution which isparticularly justified in regard to the extra effort and moneyinvested by the licensee.The U.S. context does not yet have to contend with theproblems that formal provisions for advertising would bring tothe public access channel. As of now, Seattle allows noadvertising on the channel other than simple credits. Thisstipulation seems to be relatively well enforced. Thatlicensees are not concerned with the advertising potential ofthe channel is apparent in the technical quality of the materialthat is cablecast. It is not professionally mediated in any way201and reflects these primarily amateur origins. One liability ofsuch programming is that it may limit the distribution andviewing potential of community programming in general -- peoplemay choose not to watch the channel.Certainly, the programs in both countries would be evenless technically and artistically developed if training were notrequired for community producers. That Seattle's basic trainingrequirements are minimal, depending upon the facility, and thatlocal originators are not required to serve long apprenticeshipsdoing technical assistance, as in the case in Canada, maycontribute to the limited aesthetic appeal of this city'sprogramming. Training and apprenticeships may only be requiredminimally because U.S. cable franchisees try not to have a greatdeal of input into public access productions -- especially asregards content. In fact, it is so important that cable staffare not involved in developing or shaping content that eventechnical assistance is minimal, leaving the local originator agreat deal of autonomy. Yet, it may also be that cablefranchisees do not care to invest a great deal of time andenergy into the development of community producers and theirproducts. Seattle public access television is not a profitundertaking and franchisees need only provide a certain type andlevel of service. There is no reason to improve the channel'slook and reputation and, thus, its viewership, because suchefforts would not increase subscriber revenues significantly.In contrast, Canadian cable licensees are responsible for the202content of material cablecast on their system, and training isnecessary not only to ensure the sophisticated content and imagediscussed above, but also to ensure that content is"appropriate".Tradition in Policy and Practice The way that public access to television is provided andlimited is based on ideological, procedural and materialtraditions. The ideological and procedural manifestation oftradition in policies such as Canada's Broadcasting Act or theUnited States' Communications Act tends to entrench ideologiesand procedures as well as result in traditional materialrelations. We have seen that the premises that currentprovisions for public access promote are based on historical andideological legacies of the policies that preceded them.Civic democracy favours the active participation of thepublic to the detriment of more elite segments of society.Civil democracy entrusts elite bodies with the interest of thepeople. Embracing either ideal results in some systemicdiscrimination of particular constituents. The public accesspolicies of both Canada and the United States, while invokingthe popular and moral appeal of civic democracy, is implementedin a system of civil democracy. On this account, those entitieswith access to the ideological and material structures oftelevision have more control over them. If they are vested withacting in the public's interest, as are the cable companies andregulatory bodies such as the CRTC and the OCC, there is nothing203to ensure that the public's interest is, in actuality, beingaccommodated.Canadians enjoy greater assurance that they are an integralpart of their nation's communications system than Americans asa result of the Broadcasting Act's ideology. Through this Act,the Canadian public has managed a foothold for access in policyeven though its power to use television is minimal compared tothat of the state or industry. The Broadcasting Act'sproclamation that the airwaves are owned by the public isprimarily responsible for this state of affairs, but its supportof Canadian material and talent in television production alsoprovides a foundation upon which the Canadian public can baseits participation in the technical communications system as aresult of its access to the television discourse.This is not the case in America where the federalCommunications Act requires that the communications system beregulated and operated in the public's interest.^On thisaccount, the public has no federally supported right to accessat all. Perhaps this is why the American public's access toprogram distribution is so limited while the Canadian system hasbeen consistently increasing its distributive potential.However, when access is provided, the federal provision foruncensored freedom of speech through the First Amendment doesgive the American public excellent latitude for expression. Theirony is that this right must also extend to broadcasters andother communications entities.^The U.S. public's right to204uncensored speech has less democratic and educative effectbecause of its limited access to communications technologiessuch as television. However, when this right is applied tobroadcasters, etc., whose access to television is paramount, itgives them a near monopoly on the content of current televisiondiscourses. Basically this access differential is a result ofan equal opportunity rubric -- one of the primary methods ofmaintaining traditional political, social and material relationsin a free market system (Arafeh, 1991; Knopff, 1985/86).In Canada the right to freedom of expression has not beeninterpreted as radically as in the U.S. This may be because ofits relatively late arrival on the law books and subsequentcourt interpretations that are shaping Canadian expression assomething distinct from that in the U.S. For whatever reason,the Canadian right of expression carries with it aresponsibility to the public that is not found in the U.S.Adopting a right to freedom of expression is a significant actin a country that has traditionally relied on the state forguidance, protection and, to some degree, cultural maintenance(e.g. Multicultural Act). It is this responsibility to thepublic, as well as the government's recognition of theeducational potential of television, upon which Canadian cablelicensees are able to deny access on the basis of content.These are just some of the ways that traditional ideologies asembodied in policy continue to shape current policies andpractices.205Television access policies and practices are also foundedon, and shaped by, changes in national goals and values. Thus,while Canadian communications regulation is still deeplycommitted to maintaining control of television content (i.e.ideological control for the sake of encouraging a distinctCanadian cultural identity), it is beginning to adopt a morestructural approach to regulation. While this shift in approachis apparent from the adoption of new access provisions (e.g.licence classifications and the pending action to require thatcable systems who interconnect community programming oftenoperate under a network license), the values upon which theshift is based are less apparent. One could argue that changesin the global economy, increased business dealings with theUnited States because of the Free Trade Agreement, or a generalinterest in Canada's economic well-being have precipitated newpolicy focuses. Although many regulatory and provisionalchanges are seemingly arbitrary because of their basis in thenotion of objective efficiency, they do have significantstructural and cultural effects on the system.Canadian and U.S. domestic communications policies differin their ends and means. Canadian policy seeks culturaldevelopment; U.S. policy seeks consumer choice. Canadianpolicy relies on program content regulation and a strongpublic broadcasting system to achieve its objectives.U.S. policy relies on structural, or industrial,regulation and a strong commercial broadcasting system toachieve its objectives. These differences, however, aremore in the nature of varying emphases than fundamentalinconsistencies (Hagelin & Janisch, 1983:56).The move to more structural regulation requires that thosewho have primary jurisdiction over various structures be vested206with implementing state regulations in their domain. Thus, thepower bloc becomes less centralized, operates increasingly on anad hoc basis, with the result that the elements are less able tobe controlled by the overseeing body (i.e. the government).This has long been the preferred method of regulation in theUnited States and it may be no coincidence that U.S. regulatorypractices have resulted in privatization, decentralization andhave created a policy process that is exclusive as a discourseand a practice.The public's ability to participate in social and politicaldecision-making is, in large part, dependent upon its ability togain access to information as well as the processes. Forexample, U.S. public access has been a decentralized phenomenonwhich, because it is created through a number of governmentbodies, is documented in a variety of places. Because theUnited States relies heavily on the courts to interpret policyand law, rationales for policy actions are usually found incourt cases and supporting literature. However, the sheeramount of legislation and related documentation, and its ad hoc,decentralized nature, often results in the American public'slack of information -- most people are unable to maintain thepatience and persistence needed to determine the sequence ofevents regarding a particular issue and find the appropriatedocumentation.Canada's policy-making and documentation process is amarked contrast to that in the U.S. and is, thus, much more207accessible to the public. For example, public access policydocuments are very well indexed and compiled. All of the CRTCdocuments used in this study included a list of previousdocuments and actions upon which the material at hand was based.That the Canadian government supplies its public with a clearmeans of determining the history and context of current policyand legislation may be because public access is a federalmandate and has remained under the jurisdiction of one bodysince its inception.While this thesis has presented various ways in whichfederal and local provisions for public access to television,and their bases in tradition, tend to limit access, there aretwo pervasive assumptions that have gone unchallenged: 1) thatpublic access should be located in a private industry and 2)that the public's access to television should be a localphenomenon.There are very clear, practical reasons for placingcommunity television in private cable technology, as well as forgovernment's decision to invest the communications industry withpublic access administration. Acquiring and maintaining state-of-the-art television equipment and administering a publicaccess system throughout a nation are efforts unsustainable bythe current North American governments' fiscal and personnelresources. By collaborating with industry, the government cansub-contract both the costs and the obligations of publicaccess. Cable operating systems already divide each country208into discrete geographic localities. And, since cable companieswork closely with the public on a daily basis to install andmaintain cable lines as well as to distribute program signals,they form a "natural" national network, with technology andstaff in place, through which public access television may beoffered. By requesting that cable companies reinvest a portionof their profits into the community channel, the state issomewhat relieved of the obligation, or pressure, to providefinancial support. Private licensees/franchisees are alsoinvested with the reality of administering a public accesssystem -- a subjective balancing act of corporate, governmentand public interests. By handing this task to cable systems,government can avoid direct criticism or liability for accessdecisions at the micro-local level. This is not to imply thatthe state is remiss by delegating these responsibilities.Rather, it is to point out that in Canada and the U.S.government has delegated the fiscal and administrativeresponsibility to private industry.So let's be honest about who's really in charge. Thenoble ideal of user-defined, community-controlled,democratic communications are inspiring. But in thiscase, the community does not hold the keys to the shop.In fact, there is a fundamental contradiction at the verycore of the community channel concept. Community accesstelevision is, after all, a collectivist, pluralist,egalitarian concept embedded in a hierarchical, privatelycontrolled, corporate structure. The company regards thecommunity not as a free-wheeling, independent entityfostering participatory democracy, but as just anotherdepartment along with sales, service, and pay T.V. Theonly difference is that in the company ledger, communityprogramming shows a negative cash flow (Goldberg,1990:38).209Our discussion of the number of ways in which thecommercial concerns of cable companies limit the public's"autonomous" access to television indicates the necessity toquestion whether private industry is able to undertake thispublic service without co-opting the process to serve itscorporate ends.Goldberg (1990), Kellner (1990), Salter (1988) and theCaplan Sauvageau Task force on Broadcasting (1986), all see thelimits to "pure" public participation in the national discourseas a result of community television having been placed under thecontrol of a privatized industry. They call for ademocratization of the operation and structures of the channel-- giving the community more control over its shape and functionin order to realize the real democratic potential ofcommunity television (or in order to break the hegemony of, andalliance between, the communications industry and government).Speaking in the Canadian context, Goldberg (1990) and theCaplan Sauvageau Task Force (1986) cite the efforts of theRegroupment des Organismes Communautaires de Communication duQuebec (ROCCQ) as a model for the increased democratization oftelevision. This coalition gives community-based organizationsthe charge of programming the community channels which areprovided by local cable licensees. Funding is provided througha combination of the monies licensees are mandated to invest inthe channel and provincial assistance. Public input is garneredthrough traditional democratic activity of voting and the210public's participation in the various organizations. While sucha model might have benefitted English-speaking Canada, the TaskForce's recommendations to give the public this kind of controlover programming were not taken up by either CommunicationsMinister McDonald or her successor Communications MinisterMasse.Goldberg (1990) offers the American model of the publicaccess system in Fairfax County, Virginia as another approach todemocratic control of public access. She indicates that thissystems makes a distinction between locally originatedprogramming (developed by the licensee) and communityprogramming, affords a separate channel for each, and placesprogramming responsibility in the hands of a non-profitorganization. As in Quebec, the local cable licensee providesfacilities and funding. There is no mention of whether thechannel receives additional municipal, state or federal support.While there are numerous less-democratic arrangements forcommunity television in the United States -- we have encounteredone in the case of Seattle -- Goldberg (1990) has chosen onethat is particularly participatory. That such arrangements arepossible, however, is hopeful. Goldberg's wish to reclaimcommunity television for the Canadian public is noble, crucialand timely; as is Kellner's (1990) for the U.S. However,democratization of the structure at the local level may not beenough to give the public any increase in its power base, itsdemocratic participation in the country or its ability to211challenge the productive and educational power of television.What is "autonomy" and democracy if the public's access andinput does not reach beyond the first level of the pervasivehierarchy of community, municipal, provincial/state and federalstructures? In order to effect a change in this conception ofpublic access to television, public access will have to undergoideological as well as structural shifts.Ultimately, these shifts will require challenging theassumption that public access to television is a local concernwhich should be undertaken at the local level. This seems to bean unquestionable fact at every level of discussion in bothcountries -- in policy documents", in communications literatureand in the opinions expressed by interviewees."The community channel has been described as theelectronic equivalent to neighbours talking over theirbackyard fence. The cornerstone of the community channelpolicy is to ensure the ability of the average citizen toaccess the television medium (Public Notice 1990-57:14).People know we are here and they are looking to us verydefinitely now because broadcast is going througheconomic problems, or say they are, and can't do the41 Seattle's Master Ordinance does not mention that the publicaccess channel must serve local interests specifically. However,the franchise agreements and Operating Rules and Procedures do makethese specifications.42 When prompted to comment on the broader-than-localpossibilities and arguments for public access television, mostinterviewees could cite efforts being made in this direction (e.g.Deep Dish TV -- the only public access satellite network in theU.S.; and a Provincial Bicycle system, Provincial Satellite Networkthrough Knowledge network, and work being done on a National Cablesatellite Channel in Canada). However, it was clear from commentsthat these cable systems do not engage in these options on aregular basis. The exception is Viacom in Seattle which does optto distribute the Deep Dish Television signal.212things they used to do in the community -- they are muchmore market driven. We are seen now by a lot of peopleas the only voice they can get to easily and so we arehaving to juggle a lot of growth pains. I think that'sthe policy now -- is it something that broadcast isn'tdoing and is it something that is very important to theneighbourhood (D. Angrave, personal communication, 30March, 1992).In consideration of the potential of public accesstelevision, it is the intent of these rules to ensurethat access be provided to individuals or groups withinthe community for whom the alternate forms ofbroadcasting are generally unavailable (1983 OperatingRules and Procedures:1).Section 611: a) a franchising authority may establishrequirements in a franchise with respect to thedesignation or use of channel capacity for public,educational, or governmental use only to the extentprovided in this section (1984 Cable CommunicationsPolicy Act).Alternative voices are usually organized locally becausesuch diversity is transmitted on the level that it occurs(G. Robinson, personal communication, 23 January, 1992).Even those who are fiercely committed to the ideal ofautonomous and democratic public access to television, whethermembers of government, industry or the public, often cannot seebeyond the ideology of access as a local phenomenon. The merefact that Canada refers to its public access as community accessdefies any other way of thinking about it. What is it about thepublic's access to television that requires it be local? Is ittrue that diversity occurs on the local level alone? How is itthat most individuals and/or groups who can buy broadcast timeare afforded access to television that is not necessarilylimited to local distribution?In North America, the primary obstruction between local and213broader-than-local television access is purchasing power." Incases when the structural discrimination of a market system isinoperative, as is the case with public access television on anumber of levels, policy provisions entrench its local nature orlimit it in other ways. While the importance of communitycommunication cannot be disputed, that the public has no needfor access on a broader-than-local level is not a foregoneconclusion. We have seen the vast number of ways that policyprovisions, and the practices they encourage, limit the public'saccess to television. However, none of these provisions andpractices are as divisive, marginalizing and disempowering asthe ideology, embedded in policy and common sense, that thepublic does not need, or deserve, access to television beyondthe local level.As was argued in Chapter Three, television is a medium withuntold democratic, communicative, educative and socializingpotential. Because of its educative and socializing abilitiesas well as its pervasiveness in society, television is soughtout and guarded for the power that it can confer on those whocontrol it. Such power can be technical, ideological,political, cultural, educational, etc., but, as Kellner (1990)points out, television assists both in the accumulation of powerand the legitimation of it. If the public's access to this9a that AdBusters Media Foundation is currentlyundertaking a campaign to buy television advertising time foradvertisements that denounce television and its role in thedevelopment of an ideology of consumption. The have often beendenied advertising time (Matsu, 1991: 52).214medium is limited, its access to power is limited. This wasdemonstrated in the case of perceived effects of televisionportrayals of "minorities". The primary power that the publicis disallowed by limited access to television is the power toparticipate in the its productive discourse and therebyparticipate in the shaping of the public's knowledge, behaviourand environment. On this account, it might be more useful toconstrue communications policy, or any policy that shapes theprocess and/or content of productive media such as television,as educational policy.This thesis has shown how three entities -- the state, thecable/communications industry and the general public -- competefor access to, or control of, television and its productivepower. The government's "ideological" control of televisionthrough its ability to set policy and regulate its differentcomponents and those of the larger communications system, isparamount. Private industries (i.e. cable companies) maintaintechnical, expert and economic control of television becausethey own and operate the communications technology. Theseindustries uphold government ideology by complying with, andadministering, policy regulations.The public, which has neither ideological, technical noreconomic control of television, does have power in its abilityto confer legitimacy on various structures and institutions.The public's power is consumptive -- it is based on the public'swillingness to consume either ideology or material goods.215Public consumption of either of these is an indication of itswillingness to confer power and legitimacy. Thus, publicacceptance of the current television access structure is someindication that it is willing to accept the current powerstructure. If this were not the case, as in the 1960s and1970s, the power relations between these three entities wouldhave to be modified.Though government and the private communications industry,together, work against the public's interest as regards accessto television, they do not do this as a united front. Each hasinterests that it wishes to further -- interests that could bejeopardized by the public's unregulated use of television, andinterests that rely on the public's support. It is importantthat the public's use of television does not underminegovernment's ideological status and authority. Likewise, it isimportant that the public's use of television does not challengethe communications industry's monopoly over the physical plantor its ability to generate revenue.The data in this thesis indicate that both government andthe cable industry maintain rhetorical support of publicparticipation through television while, at the same time,limiting that participation, in part, through policy provisionsand their implementation. Thus, any potential democratic and/oreducational impact that the public might have as a result ofincreased access to television discourses, including thepotential to impede government or industry interests, has been216severely limited. While there are real differences in the waythat these limits are imposed in each country, the effect is thesame -- members of society with money and power can achieveexcellent access to television production and programming and,often, the broad reach of broadcast television. Members of thegeneral public cannot achieve this access.This thesis has made evident what kinds of access thepublics of Canada and the United States have been providedthrough policy, the ways in which this access has also beenlimited, and some of the differences between the countries inthe way their access to television is limited. It seems thatthe public's access will remain marginalized in both countriesuntil there is some movement to change the governing policies.Even if policy changes result in increased public participationin television there is no guarantee that the current elitism oftelevision production and programming will inevitably becomemore inclusive.It has been demonstrated that the public's access totelevision is largely dependent upon its provision throughpolicy. Yet, in order for the provisions to be made, bothcommunications policy-makers and the public must believe, onsome level, that the public should have access (Lindblom &Cohen, 1979). To do this, these entities must be able to seebeyond the traditional conceptions of structures and relationsin order to create new ones (Magnussen & Walker, 1988).Unfortunately, the basic democratic tenets on which Canada and217the United States, and those which are most often invoked in thequest for more inclusive social change, are conflicted.Rhetorically, Canada and the United States value the ideals ofpublic participation and civic democracy but, in practice, theyoperate on civil democratic premises where the state acts aspatron. Because of ideological conflict, the public roles thatcomprise each nation are unclear -- are people to expect, andact in, a civic or civil democratic structure? As we have seen,policies which sustain the former do not necessarily bring aboutthose results.At a documentary level, policy rhetoric of participation isbarbed by a less clearly articulated, but no less important,sub-text of subordination and domination. Thus, policies whichpromote the democratic, educational, and equitable aspirationsof the broadcast system -- through official discourse that isadequately broad and vague as befits policy -- use language thataddresses the communications industry; not the public. Eventhough the official discourse is one of inclusion, the sub-textis one of exclusion.If the public were given unlimited access to television --satellite, broadcast, and cable technologies -- the sheerubiquity of public voice (which likely would espouse valuesdifferent from government or the communications industry) wouldpresent a threat to the existing communications, social andpolitical order and its utility as a productive, educativemedium. Although hegemony is not automatically ceded to numeric218majorities, the pervasiveness or repetition of a positionthrough discourse can confer a certain amount of legitimacy uponit (Foucault, 1980; Barthes, 1977; van Dijk, 1987a). Thuscurrent policies not only limit the public's ability tochallenge the state's authority through the discourse oftelevision, but they tend to reproduce traditional ideologies,structures and relations. As we have seen, the limits aresubtle but effective: the public accepts an ideology of accessto television although its power and agency is constrained bothby the control of private industry as well as by being affordedonly local access. This has particular salience for"minorities" whose experience with television is largelynegative.Many opportunities for further inquiry have been indicatedthroughout the body of this research." It is quite evidentthat the public's access to television production andprogramming, input, distribution and viewing is limitedsignificantly but why and how this has come about is of utmostimportance in developing strategies for a more positive,participatory society. This thesis has attempted to expose someof the factors which underlie these effects.It is difficult to say whether limits in production accessand content, as in the case of Canada, or limits in9a inquiry into the uses and "effects" of public accesstelevision; inquiry into whether the potential limitationssuggested in this thesis are, in fact, limiting, inquiry intowhether the public input avenues provided are effective andadequate; inquiry into new communications structures; etc.219distribution, reach and viewing access, as in the United States,or limited access to the policy process, as is the case in bothcountries, are more divisive to the public's ability to achievedemocratic participation in society through the medium oftelevision. Lack of access, in all of the senses describedhere, results in the public's diminished ability to participatein the national television discourse and to challenge theproductive power of television.So what is the value of this kind of analysis? Wheredoes one go from here? There is no simple answer.Communications policy, however confused, is still apatterned confusion, shaped by structures of history andcontemporary social life, particularly those associatedwith Liberalism. The contradictions of communicationspolicy exemplify the tensions within our most fundamentalbeliefs and ways of acting, tensions revealed in the waywe use terms like 'individuals', 'groups', 'freedom', and'constraint'. No new law, policy, or bureaucraticstructure can make those tensions disappear overnight.The hope for an administrative quick fix, for a cleverregulatory strategem or legal manoeuvre that will resolvethose tensions, is itself a problematic expression of thesame Liberal conceptual system that created the tensionsin the first place...the value of this work goes beyondacademic understanding. By lifting the broad outlines ofcommunications policy out of the taken-for-grantedbackground and holding them up for analysis andquestioning, we reveal those outlines to be not simply'the way things are', not an objective necessity, but aproduct of the human imagination, a kind of socialphilosophy in practice. And the fact that our system ofbroadcast policy is something imagined raises the clearpossibility -- however remote such a possibility may seemat this moment in history -- of imagining it, and thusconstructing it, otherwise (Streeter, 1989:60-61).220REFERENCESAdorno, T. W. (1957). Television and the patterns of massculture.^In B. Rosenberg and D. Manning White (Eds.), MassCulture: the popular arts in America (pp. 474-488). New York:Free Press.Althusser, L. (1971). Lenin and Philosophy and other essays,(Trans. B. Brewster). New York: New Left Books.Anderson, B. (1988). How television depicts blacks. NewSociety, 83(13/15), 11 Mar, 20-22.Atkin, B.S., Greenberg, S. & McDermott, S. 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