Mixed Signals

The Prospects for Global Television News

Richard Parker
Release Date: August 1, 1995

In recent decades, the growth of the television industry and broadcast news media has been astounding. As this phenomena has unfolded, the United States has become the “leader” of commercialized television broadcasting nationally and reaching every sector of that market. However, more recently, international news services, such as CNN, the BBC World Service, and Sky Channel have extended their viewership to a global audience. In doing so, these stations are capable of grossing larger margins of profit, as well as, offering extremely high-quality news and arts programming to an estimated audience of 130 million.

In an era of diminished global ideological competition, tight governmental budgets, and increasingly privatized television, the development of new broadcasting has been driven up to take shape with entertainment television. Even in the United States, the news has shifted from content to an albeit glamorized presentation of the news, which many have termed “tabloidization.” Though this style of television advertising “sells” programming, many United States firms are missing the global picture. In essence, when there is a gloalized news, it will be able to turn a profit on a grandeur scale and be a more effective commercial vehicle for selling things.

In Mixed Signals, Richard Parker contemplates these important aspects of the developing global television market, while entertainment programming will still have to appeal to many local tastes. As well, Parker makes clear the basic economics of television and how this understanding will enhance the dissemination of news and we as an audience will take this even more for granted.