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Comunicar Journal 25: Quality Television (Vol. 13 - 2005)

Television: paying for quality? Public and private networks in public service mission


Samantha Mendes


Nowadays we are witnessing a share's supremacy on the Occidental television scenery. It is becoming most urgent to redefine «public service» concepts in television, which is supposed to have «quality», and understand in which way public networks, currently confronted with lack of economical resources problems, can stay true to their mission of «public service». It is pertinent to verify if it is possible to attract private networks to programming concepts closer to what is considered «public service», which can simultaneously be «interesting» from an economic/share holds point of view, without entering in the «teletrash» domain and guarantying quality contents to the viewers. For achieving this it is necessary to define what «quality» is, which is a vague concept and is raising many discussions in the field of audiovisual and also academic, and to which there are no solid or definitive answers. Knowing that quality programs are more expensive in production than the ones of «teletrash», and knowing that are these last ones that get more financing for their shares translated into advertisement and by its turn, into money, you conclude easily that there is a unbalanced competition between public and private networks. In what concerns the quality contents production, since the public networks are facing the questions of public and State financing, which is not comparable to the advertising and economic laws by which the private networks are guided. Taking a global view on what is considered «Public Service on Audio Broadcasting» in Europe, using some examples of the Amsterdam Treaty, we intend to discuss audiovisual and suggest some paths to follow towards a quality television, pedagogically healthy and enriching, and point out some well achieved examples of quality programs, either in public television, or in private networks, in Portugal. A pertinent content for civil society is what best defines the mission of public service; the examples to present in the communication will illustrate the required characteristics of this public service, which can be applied through quality communicative and informative contents. These programs show how you can talk about quality in the private networks of television and how public networks need many times to adapt their programming to time schedules more adequate to the rhythm of live of the viewers. Only aiming for good examples of quality in television contents can we really talk about a true «pedagogic» television, from which you can actually learn and help to create solid and healthy bases for a population more distracted from rights and duties of citizenship and social responsibility, in the core of post-modernity.


Public service of television, television quality, telerubbish

PDF file in Spanish


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