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Republic on the Wire takes us back to the pivotal years in which media regulators and members of the viewing public presciently weighed the potential benefits and risks of a two-tiered television system, split between free broadcasts and pay cable service. Digging into rare archives, McMurria reconstructs the arguments of elite policymakers, whose advocacy of cable was fueled by sincere concerns about the public interest, but who also saw the service as a tool to preserve taste hierarchies and maintain order over the nation's rapidly-changing inner cities. He also tells the story of the people of color, rural residents, women's groups, veterans, seniors, and low-income viewers who challenged this reasoning and demanded an equal say over the future of television.
By excavating this early cable history, and placing equality at the center of our understanding of media democracy, Republic on the Wire is a real eye-opener as it develops a new methodology for studying media policy in the past and present.
|Illustrations||1 figure, 8 photographs|
|Dimensions||229 x 152|
|Date Published||28 Feb 2017|
|Publisher||Rutgers University Press|
|Subject/s||History of the Americas   Media studies   Telephone technology  |