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Reginald D. Miles, M.A.

Degrees and background: 

MA in media communications from Governors State University, University Park, Ill.; and BA in liberal arts from Columbia College, Chicago, Ill. He joined the Department of Radio, Television & Film at Howard University in 2003. He taught previously at Kennedy College, Chicago. Before entering academic life, he worked more than 30 years in radio broadcasting in Chicago, serving as station manager, on-air host, and in production, among other roles. He is the author of numerous professional and scholarly articles and electronic productions on the Black experience in America. He has won numerous awards, both in broadcasting and teaching.

Personal statement: 

As a co founder of the Howard Media Group, I have been concerned with the plight of African American media ownership since the passage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act. Too few own too many, and the effects of media consolidation has wreaked havoc on the African American community, women, and other minorities. The marketplace theory of commercial broadcasting creates a scenario of tainted, biased information. It seems that the truth can never be told by broadcasters because of where and how they receive funding. The advertisers control radio, and research is needed to measure the extent of advertiser impact on radio programming. Also it seems that under the marketplace theory of broadcast ownership vital needs of unique and individual groups go under served. “If the broadcasts can’t make money off the needs of the community those needs won’t be exposed via the airwaves.” An informed citizenry makes better decisions. And yet, civic groups can’t organize via radio because stations rarely play public service announcements for non profit organizations anymore.. Radio was once a very personal medium that served communities, but after the passage of the Telecommunications Act, which lifted limits on the numbers of media outlets companies could own, radio has become hyper commercial with a narrow focus toward the financial bottom line. Research is needed to counter the marketplace theory of broadcast regulation. Studies are needed to show the effects of consolidation and deregulation. There is also the need for investigation into the ways that income can also be generated by stations through public affairs programming. Research is also needed to reveal the recent history of minority broadcast station ownership, exploring why there is a lack of African American ownership.”