Media Industry Mandates
Havens & Lotz, 2012, p. 27-45
2 • Clash among users, commercial providers, and city governments over
8 municipal broadband demonstrates the challenge of determining the
mandate for any particular media industry, as well as the different outcomes
that each mandate encourages
• Public mandates: effective at serving public needs, particularly those
unrelated to business activities and consumption, cost money and need to be
supported by individual or corporate taxes (controversial),
• Commercial mandates: do not require tax money, serve certain needs
(businesses and affluent individuals/groups) particularly well
• mandates shape the operation of media industries: whether and how
segments of the public are served, what kind of content is produced, how the
industry is organized (monopoly, oligopoly, competitive), the role the industry
plays in business and civic life
2 • the mandate encompasses the purpose of the media industry
9 • mandates are flexible (e.g. radio started as point-to-point medium and
developed into mass medium -> mandate changed)
3 • mandates are unnatural (e.g. US and UK dealt differently with radio situation)
0 • media outlets can have multiple mandates, although one is typically primary
• each mandate is merely a characteristic type
• certain media industries (particularly broadcasting) are more influenced by
mandates than others (-> most noncommercial mandates ar broadcast
3 WHAT ARE COMMON MANDATES?
1 • Three questions
1. Who pays for media?
2. Whom does it serve?
3. What determines “success"?
• Who pays for it?
o The consumer
Advertising: consumers pay inflated prices for goods to cover
Blend of advertising and payment (e.g. newspapers, magazines)
Payment only (e.g. movie tickets, albums/songs, print/television
media w/o advertising)
Monthly fees for services (e.g. mobile phone, internet)
3 • Whom does it serve?
2 o Those most likely to make them most profitable
o Dual product markets: two layers of sales; company sells
content/products to the consumer, and sells the audience gathered to
advertisers; designed to reach a particular demographic because
advertisers desire certain types of consumers
• What determines success? Profits
3 No medium operates as a perfect free market, governments always impose
3 some regulation in order to obtain various pro-social goals and expectations
Public Mandate Media
• Who pays?
o You, through taxes, e.g. UK government collects money and then
allocates it to BBC
• Whom does it serve?
o The citizenry (those who pay for it)
o Citizens have many different interests -> makes mandate challenging
3 o Cannot meet all needs of all citizens all the time, but meet the needs
4 of many different groups at some point in a program, day, week, year