Archive

Tag Archives: canada

One of the most consistent observations made by economists of government regulation has been the seemingly inevitable phenomenon of “regulatory capture” (Dal Bó, 2006; Kahn, 1971; Laffont & Tirole, 1991; Levine & Forrence, 1990; Mitnick,1980; Stigler, 1971; Wu, 2010). According to Horwitz (1989), this occurs when a regulatory agency “systematically favors the private interests of regulated parties and systematically ignores the public interest” (emphasis in original, p. 29). The public interest thus becomes “perverted” as a regulator matures through several phases. “As the agency hits old age, it becomes a bureaucratic morass which, because of precedent, serves to protect its industry” (Horwitz, 1989, p. 30). Fraser (2000) used the same analogy of life stages to explain regulatory capture:

In their infancy, regulators show youthful activism. By middle age, they have succumbed to subtle co-option by industry interests. In their final stages of bureaucratic senility, they degenerate into passive interests of the corporate interest under their purview. (p. D11)

By that description, he added, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) provided an excellent example of regulatory capture.

Marc Edge, in the latest Canadian Journal of Communication.
Advertisements

One of the most consistent observations made by economists of government regulation has been the seemingly inevitable phenomenon of “regulatory capture” (Dal Bó, 2006; Kahn, 1971; Laffont & Tirole, 1991; Levine & Forrence, 1990; Mitnick,1980; Stigler, 1971; Wu, 2010). According to Horwitz (1989), this occurs when a regulatory agency “systematically favors the private interests of regulated parties and systematically ignores the public interest” (emphasis in original, p. 29). The public interest thus becomes “perverted” as a regulator matures through several phases. “As the agency hits old age, it becomes a bureaucratic morass which, because of precedent, serves to protect its industry” (Horwitz, 1989, p. 30). Fraser (2000) used the same analogy of life stages to explain regulatory capture:

In their infancy, regulators show youthful activism. By middle age, they have succumbed to subtle co-option by industry interests. In their final stages of bureaucratic senility, they degenerate into passive interests of the corporate interest under their purview. (p. D11)

By that description, he added, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) provided an excellent example of regulatory capture.

Marc Edge, in the latest Canadian Journal of Communication.

“The purpose of this Act is to ensure that telecommunications service providers have the capability to enable national security and law enforcement agencies to exercise their authority to intercept communications and to require telecommunications service providers to provide subscriber and other information, without unreasonably impairing the privacy of individuals, the provision of telecommunications services to Canadians or the competitiveness of the Canadian telecommunications industry.”

And yes, that does translate as “This law means Police and spooks can require carriers and ISPs to hand over details about their customers, and that they do online or on the phone.” The Bill even required “telecommunications service providers” to decrypt data they held.

Public service broadcasters (PSBs) are a central part of national news media landscapes. In many countries, PSBs are the first choice of citizens when it comes to news providers. And in perhaps more countries still, PSBs are thought of as specialists in provision of hard news. We test this proposition here using survey data from a large crossnational survey involving indicators of current affairs knowledge and media consumption. Specifically, we examine whether exposure to public versus commercial news influences the knowledge citizens possess about current affairs, both domestically and internationally. We also test, using propensity score analysis, whether there is variation across PSBs in this regard. Results indicate that compared to commercial news, watching PSB has a net positive influence on knowledge of hard news, though not all PSBs are equally effective in contributing to knowledge acquisition. This knowledge gap between PSB and commercial news media consumption appears to be mitigated by factors such as de jure independence, proportion of public financing, and audience share.

Public service broadcasters (PSBs) are a central part of national news media landscapes. In many countries, PSBs are the first choice of citizens when it comes to news providers. And in perhaps more countries still, PSBs are thought of as specialists in provision of hard news. We test this proposition here using survey data from a large crossnational survey involving indicators of current affairs knowledge and media consumption. Specifically, we examine whether exposure to public versus commercial news influences the knowledge citizens possess about current affairs, both domestically and internationally. We also test, using propensity score analysis, whether there is variation across PSBs in this regard. Results indicate that compared to commercial news, watching PSB has a net positive influence on knowledge of hard news, though not all PSBs are equally effective in contributing to knowledge acquisition. This knowledge gap between PSB and commercial news media consumption appears to be mitigated by factors such as de jure independence, proportion of public financing, and audience share.