Entertainment and News Services for Community Information Utilities.

by John A. Farquhar

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A discussion of objectives for Community Information Utilities (CIU) entertainment and news services, and of whether the CIU concept is enough, in itself, to realize these objectives: (1) quality entertainment based on a broad spectrum of tastes and preferences; (2) informed, discriminating consumers, electors, and citizens; and (3) a merging of entertainment and education. Alternatives are Pay TV, which has been generally unsuccessful, and Cable TV, which offers the average subscriber only 8.1 channels. The CIU, with perhaps 40 channels, will have an enormous impact on programming producers and viewers, and its social impact can be expected to equal or exceed that of television. Its greatest effect will be on newspapers, magazines, and the entertainment industry. While newspapers and magazines are not likely to disappear, the motion picture industry and theater owners will probably exert concerted opposition. Entertainment and news services will be implemented within the CIU framework over a period of years, successively increasing in sophistication, appeal, and cost. (Published in H. Sackman and B. Boehm (eds.), [Planning Community Information Utilities], AFIPS Press, 1972.) (See also P-4781, P-4895, P-4897, P-4899, P-4900, P-4908.) 26 pp. Ref.

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