Jean Seaton discusses the Overton Window with Helsingin Sanomat

8 August 2023

Prof. Jean Seaton recently spoke with Finnish media outlet Helsingin Sanomat about the role of public broadcasters in maintaining a nations resilience to crisis. in the interview Seaton notes that the media are quick to be apportioned blame when people are unhappy with the news, and that public service broadcasters who collect their funding through taxation or licence fees are particularly susceptible to outrage when the news doesn’t align with people’s feelings. It is important then, notes Seaton, to remember that public service broadcasting (PSB) is not just about fact-based information, but also about managing emotions and imagination.

Seaton goes on to discuss the role or PSB in shifting the Overton Window. The Overton window is an approach to identifying the ideas that define the spectrum of acceptability of governmental policies. It says politicians can act only within the acceptable range. Shifting the Overton window involves proponents of policies outside the window persuading the public to expand the window, a key role of PSB.

The full interview can be read on the Helsingin Sanomat website.


Photo by Amel Majanovic on Unsplash

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