Two Principles of Broadcast Media Ownership for a Democratic Society

Journal of Business Ethics 82 (4):821-834 (2008)
Michael Buckley
Lehman College (CUNY)
Technological advances in media communications have raised questions about the appropriateness of media ownership rules for traditional TV and radio broadcast. This article contributes to this debate by defending a set of principles that ought to govern the distribution of broadcast spectrum. In particular, it defends principles reflecting the ‹public interest’ constraint currently informing broadcast media ownership rules, and argues against a free-market procedure for distributing spectrum use. The argument relies upon the application of a political constructivist approach typical to many political theories. In applying this approach, the author illustrates the strengths and weakness of constructivism and in the process provide an example for how constructivism can be applied to other subjects. As a result, the article has two aims. First, it defends a set of broadcast ownership principles. Second, it provides a model for how philosophers might apply constructivism to other subjects.
Keywords broadcast media ownership  FCC  John Rawls  media  political constructivism  telecommunications
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DOI 10.1007/s10551-007-9595-x
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