The localism principle in communications policymaking and policy analysis: Ambiguity, inconsistency, and empirical neglect
Localism long has been a central guiding principle in communications policymaking, yet its specific meaning and objectives have not been well articulated by policymakers. This article attempts to bring greater clarity to the localism principle, through an examination of how the Federal Communications Commission has defined local programming. Policymakers have failed to establish a clear and stable definition of what constitutes local programming, which has contributed to the sense of ambiguity, uncertainty, and inconsistency that long has characterized localism policymaking. If localism policies are to reflect the rationales upon which they are based, the definition of local programming must be expanded to account not only for a program's point of origin, but for the nature of a program's content as well.
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