What the cable promises is a quantum jump in access to knowledge. Storehouses of films, tapes, records, still pictures, video cassettes, microfilms, programmed instruction, computer games, and. instant news printouts might be· dialed up on any wired-in television receiver. Two-way conferences with live experts are being cablecast already. In contrast to the mass media, which are involved in broadcasting, cable represents a selective medium for narrowcasting. Instead of catering exclusively to the largest possible audiences, cable makes it technically and economically feasible to transmit highly specialized. packages of information to small, selected audiences. This is parallels the magazine business, where a host of flexible, specialized publications have sprung up to supplant the old monolithic mass circulation magazines.

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