This study compares the strategies and impact of six British activist groups, as documented in 1997, with data gathered on the same groups in 2000. These groups, Voice of the Listener and Viewer, Campaign for Quality Television, Deaf Broadcasting Council, Consumers Association, National Consumers Council and National Listeners and Viewers Association, attempted to build a public sphere for generating debate around and catalysing changes to broadcasting policies and programming. They were tracked in 2000 in order to identify those issues, relationships and groups that had endured. The research design provided a telescopic look at their interactions with their targets and with each other during a period of rapid technological and industry change. In a multichannel broadcasting environment where convergence and globalisation are buzzwords, activists used public relations to create a broader public forum for a wide range of significant issues with which to engage demographically, psychographically and geographically diverse publics. The ensuing media education, media advocacy and relationship building, although elite in origins, strengthened democratic discourse, thus reaffirming broadcasting’s invaluable role in civil society.
Journal of Communication Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jul 1, 2003
Keywords: Activist groups; Broadcasting policies; Relationship building
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