State monopoly of broadcasting facilities
Governments step into the mass media for three reasons: first, it is ideologically and politically helpful for government to use the mass media to communicate with and influence citizens; second, in many cases only the public sector can provide the massive financial outlay required especially as start-up costs where new media technology is initiated; third, government has a moral responsibility to monitor the quality of information, entertainment, culture and education offered. This necessary involvement too often, however, becomes a stranglehold when government sponsorship prohibits the free competition of alternative opinions and programming.
States have been playing a growing role in orienting, controlling, organizing and dispensing communication activities dealing either with conditions for communication in a country (which is its main prerogative), or with the delivery of messages and contents (which is necessary in particular circumstances, but may also lead to restrictions). Thus, government responsibilities are, on the one hand, discharged through: legislation regulating rights and responsibilities in various fields of communication; the inclusion of resources for communication in overall planning; regulation of conditions governing media ownership and communication activities; attribution of facilities (such as distribution of frequencies) for telecommunications; control of communication channels and carriers; direct public ownership of media and other means of communication, and, on the other hand, through direct involvement in various communication activities, by creating national, regional and local public bodies; measures aiming to prevent the spread of distorted views and the abuse of communication practices; and limitation of imported contents and messages.