Broadcast Model Creaking, What’s Next?

As with general circulation print, broadcast television faces  economic challenges it’s never faced before. But the interesting change that is submerged in the conversation about the future is the changing role media plays in shaping awareness and perception.

Broadcast media were primary culture shapers in the past. Radio changed how families interacted. Morning radio programs such as Don McNeill’s Breakfast Hour changed the way people started their day. Then television came along and brought even more change. Not only daytime, but nighttime as well. It altered the cultural landscape.

From Pinky Lee, Howdy Doody and Davey Crockett, children born into the first television generation were shaped by a mass marketing machine that was unlike any other. Then came riveting national and global experiences that we all joined in together, watching them unfold. The first astronauts to walk on the moon, for example.

Now that the economic model seems to be unsustainable, the cultural behaviors that it fosters are also changing. It will be very interesting to see how we adapt to this and whether social cohesion as we experienced in the broadcast era is necessary, or even possible, in the new media age  we are living into.

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