“In The Public Interest” is a four-part limited docuseries rich with insightful interviews and blending of archival materials with graphic animation to tell the origin and impact of the public interest clause for broadcasters through the story of radio in America.
In 1927, a critical choice needed to be made: follow the BBC model of nationally-supported radio or turn the spectrum over to the private sector. Naturally, 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 is still on the books today.
“In The Public Interest” is divided into four episodes: “Foundation” tells how American radio was first organized and maintained. “Conflict” looks at radio’s active involvement during an era of social unrest in the 1960s. “Solution” explains changes in regulations, culminating with the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Concluding with “Result,” we probe how consolidation has forced many owners and local voices out of the industry as nationally syndicated programs proved both profitable and persuasive in today’s radio.
Through expert interviews, rare archival sights and sounds, a vast array of music and intimate, personal stories, this documentary series revives the concept of the public interest in broadcasting and explores ways that this obligation can be useful in today’s polarized nation.
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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. Her recent credits as music coordinator include: “The Andy Warhol Diaries,” “American Horror Stories,” “9-1-1” and “Big Mouth.”