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A Different Broadcast System


The panelists discuss a proposal to create an alternative American communications system. The catch is that the idea was suggested by University of California - Berkeley Professor Robert Cirino in 1977.

Cirino developed his plan at a time when cable was in its infancy and the Internet could only be found in science fiction.

He proposed creating the United States Broadcasting Corporation to supplement the commercial broadcasting that already existed.  USBC would be funded through a small tax on the profits of commercial broadcasters, fees charged on the purchase of radios and televisions, and through a national lottery if one was ever started.

Cirino suggested creating four independent networks with differing political philosophies: socialist, liberal, conservative, and libertarian. He said this would allow all viewpoints to be aired without government regulation.

He also wanted USBC to air commercial-free children's programming.

Panelist Mike Murray said he still requires WIU broadcasting students to read Cirino's plan. He wants them to think about what portions of it have come to fruition and which parts never materialized.

Rich is TSPR's News Director.