"What's 'access to the media'?" This question appeared in large bold type at the top of a newspaper advertisement in the Boston Evening Globe for Tuesday, February 8, 1972. The ad had a ready answer: "'Access to the media' means giving the public-especially minority groups-a chance to use the news media (especially television) to express their own views." The advertisement went on to explain a unique program public television was about to air, a live special edition of "Black Journal" which invited Black Americans to utilize the public television airwaves to speak to Black leaders, and the entire nation as well. Thus via phone-in centers in eight major American cities, the Black community held a nationwide TV forum on the question: Is the physical and cultural survival of Black Americans still possible? This is one prominent example of "access," a new kind of use of television by a different kind of people that hardly would have been thinkable very many months ago in the status-quo terms of commercial television.
Nicholas Johnson & Gary G. Gerlach,
The Coming Fight for Cable Access,
Yale Rev. L. & Soc. Action
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.yale.edu/yrlsa/vol2/iss3/4