Dirty Discourse: Sex and Indecency in Broadcasting

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Wiley, Apr 15, 2008 - Performing Arts - 320 pages
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Changes in American society, the pluralistic nature of its citizens, and its geographic preclude a common definition of what is indecent, profane, or obscene. What may appear to be "dirty discourse" to some may be considered to be laudable satire to others. Renowned media scholars and authors Robert Hilliard and Michael Keith examine the blue side of the airways in Dirty Discourse: Sex and Indecency in Broadcasting. This first-ever analysis of the history and nature of off-color program content explores the treatment of once-forbidden topics in the electronic media, investigating the beliefs, attitudes and actions of those who present such material, those who condemn it, and those who defend it.

Written from a social and cultural perspective, Dirty Discourse concentrates on the means of greatest distribution - radio, with its phenomenal growth of 'shock jocks' and rap music lyrics, and provides coverage of television and the Internet. The book shows how and why broadcasting has evolved from the ribald antics of the Roaring 20's to today's streaming cybersex, contrasting the standards and actions of the FCC v. the First Amendment amidst the over-the-air and in-the-court battles of over-the-top radio. It examines political pressures and legal considerations, including Supreme Court decisions, and efforts to protect children from media smut.

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About the author (2008)

Robert L. Hilliard is Professor of Visual and Media Arts at Emerson College in Boston. Dr. Hilliard was Chief of the Public Broadcasting Branch of the Federal Communications Commission and was Chair of the Federal Interagency Media Committee. He is the author of more than 30 books on communication, including several leading media textbooks.

Michael C. Keith is a professor in the Communication Department at Boston College and author of numerous journal articles and over 20 books on electronic media. Dr. Keith is past Chair of Education for the Museum of Broadcast Communications. This is Hilliard and Keith’s seventh co-authored book, including the 1999 President’s Annual Booklist selection, Waves of Rancor: Tuning in the Radical Right, and The Broadcast Century: A History of American Radio and Television.

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