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By Andrea Millwood Hargrave

Opposed to a backdrop of great swap in expertise and the economics of broadcasting and new media, this well timed survey of up to date attitudes to responsibility and the general public curiosity in broadcasting is predicated on over fifty interviews conducted in four democracies: India, Australia, the united kingdom and the USA.

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Paul Chadwick, ABC, Australia) External accountability The way in which organisations found themselves accountable to external bodies formed a key part of this research. It was clear that regulators played an important role in the broadcasting industry and the role of the government was also closely examined. This research did not dwell on accountability to shareholders by commercial entities, as this was felt to be a given. Nor did the project dwell on the way in which shareholders and advertisers might affect (directly or Accountability t 25 indirectly) the practices of a broadcaster.

The public interest in broadcasting, the starting point for older institutions and still a mainstay for some, often struggles to assert itself in defiance of the market. Against this troubled background, Andrew Graham, Master of Balliol College, Oxford University in the UK, commented on current attitudes towards the public interest: I think . . the acceptance of the term public interest has declined . . it was never a term as much accepted in the States as here and to the extent that it was accepted, it has probably declined even furf ther in America than here.

Lord Rees Mogg, Former Vice-Chair of the BBC, UK) Although Chapter 3 will consider blogs and their role in the dissemination of information, it was noticeable that blogs were used frequently in the same way as advocacy groups – as a way of urging change or lobbying for a particular position. Interviewees, when asked, did not consider generally that the press acted as a test for accountability, making broadcasting and other related institutions justify f their actions. Certainly the media do look at the media but not in as much detail as might be expected – there was rather less navel-gazing, but what there is was thought to be discerning in its nature.

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