Broadcast radio, which has been around for over one hundred years, is a powerful lens through which to examine ongoing tensions in American history over the last century. We look at the aspirations of local audiences, the role of government in balancing issues of free speech and industry profits, and the fracturing of national identity as communities are increasingly shaped by the stories they hear, weighing the impact of media consolidation on our communities today viewed through the public interest mandate.
There was a choice to be made in the beginning: follow the BBC model of nationally-supported radio or turn the spectrum over to the private sector. In America 1927, the choice was easy: the private sector won out. However, there was one important caveat written into the new law: broadcasters would get free use of the airwaves so long as they also served “the public interest, convenience and necessity.” That phrase, which still remains in the Telecommunications Act of 1996, lies at the heart of the issue. What does it mean? Has that meaning changed over the past 90 years? How does one serve the public interest and what does failure to serve even look like?
Interviews are still being done for this film but already include radio veterans Larry King, Wink Martindale, Art Linkletter and Norman Corwin. Washington Post journalist Marc Fisher appears, as does media activist Malkia Cyril, and Blacklist victims Norman Lloyd, Marsha Hunt and Ivy Bethune. This film, in addition to its strong social theme, aims to be the definitive story of American radio.
heads Anthracite Films. Mike began his career as an actor, appearing on television shows “All That,” “Beverly Hills 90210” and the film “Live from Baghdad,” before turning to writing and directing. His debut film, “Daybreak,” a dark drama set in the coal region of northeastern Pennsylvania, has been released domestically on DVD. His next film was “The Poet Laureate of Radio: An Interview with Norman Corwin.”
is vice president in charge of production at Anthracite Films. He joined Anthracite Films as producer of “The Poet Laureate of Radio: An Interview with Norman Corwin” and our current project “In The Public Interest.” Dave is an Emmy-winning writer-producer-director for the documentary “Titanic: The Final Chapter,” which aired on Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV. He lives in Los Angeles where he is developing his own projects.
has spent the last several years building a career in Production, Post-Production, and Music Supervision. This has included production coordination for an audio post-production house, instructing at a film camp for aspiring filmmakers and working as a music coordinator for various movie and television projects. Passionate about film, she has spent the last ten years as a part of the Annapolis Film Festival working both production and programming.