Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
2Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
What Is Public Service Broadcasting? Why Is It Now Under Attack And Is It Worth Defending?

What Is Public Service Broadcasting? Why Is It Now Under Attack And Is It Worth Defending?

Ratings: (0)|Views: 96 |Likes:
Published by Robert Andrews
January 22, 1998 - BA (Hons) Journalism, Film & Broadcasting - Historical Development Of The Mass Media
January 22, 1998 - BA (Hons) Journalism, Film & Broadcasting - Historical Development Of The Mass Media

More info:

Published by: Robert Andrews on Feb 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

08/28/2010

pdf

text

original

 
MC1101
Historical
Development
Of Mass
Communications Part
One
Coursework: Question
1
 WHAT
SS
'PUBLIC SERVICE
BROADCASTING'?
WHY
IS
ST
NQIV UNDER
ATTACK
 AND
IS
IT
WORTH
DEFEMO'NR?
'Public
service
broadcasting'
appears
to
be
steeped
in
notions
of 
a
timewarp,
authoritarian
control, and
a
condescending
image
of 
what
mu.'it 
interest the
public,
"The
idea
that
the
BBC
is
not
just a
media
company, butsomesort
of 
sacred
trust
has
its
roots
in
history 
andhalf 
truth
"
'."rote
N4eg
Carter.
"It
makes
the corporation
oddly 
schizophrenic.
It
doesn't want
to
becrass
 
hutit
has
to
be
popular,
or 
it
can
hardly 
justify 
the
fact
that
everyonepays
for 
it."
1
If 
we
listen
to
Carter,
the
opening
claims
are
difficult
to
dismiss.The
BBCprides
itself 
on
simply 
remaining
'Auntie,'
the
ever 
present
relative, always
with
a
 war story, always
a
metaphor 
co'acidentally 
like
her 
'B'g
Brother,'
The
Sykes
and
Crawford
committees
of 
its
early history 
agreed
with
T.ord
Reiththat
public
servicebroadcasting
should
mean
shying
from
commerce,
embracing centralised
control,
national
coverage
and
highstandards.These
ideals
came into their 
own
particularly during
war 
time, when
information
^
^
and
media
plurality 
were
hard
to
come
by;
and
it
was
an
important
instructional
and morale
 boosting
organ
for the
government.
Today 
it
plays
an
assumed
important
role
in
education
and
childrens'
broadcasting,
but
appears
to
have
a slightly different
agenda.Public
service
broadcasting itself 
is
concernedwith
maintaining
and
instilling
these standards,
and
claims
to
take
a
stand
against
commercial
values.
It
is there
fo
the
public,
funded
by 
itand
the
state.There
is
a
compulsory 
relationship
withthe former,
arid an
uncomfortable
one
\vith
the latter.
Every 
ten
to
fifteen
years,
the
BBC's
charter 
comes up
for renewal.
Defining
the
corporation,
its remit
and
its
funding,
the charter 
has
said
that
public
service
was
there "toeducate,
inform
and entertain."
This
is
said
to
be
at
odds
with'independent'
media,
which
pay 
attention
to
what the
public
want,
rather 
than what they 
need.
But
what
is
clear in
defining
'public
servicebroadcasting'is
tliat
there
has
been
a
shift from
the
high
minded
to
the
popular.
symptom
not
so
much
of 
the
'postmodern
condition'
as
of 
 broadcasters'
drive for 
viewing figures,
the
distinctions
between 'high' and
'low'
culture
on
television have
somewhat diminished;
leading
to
a
re
appraisal
of 
what
'public
service
 broadcasting'
is
actually 
worth
"Developing
countries
will
not
be
spared
[in
this],
despite
their 
evident
need
for 
a
kind
of 
television
that
pays
careful
attention to thecultural,
social,
educationaland
economic
needs
of people."
2
 When
the
BBC's
form
of 
public
servicebroadcasting lost
audiences
tothemore attractive
IT
in
the
l^Ws^.
and the
BBC decided
to
win
them back 
these
values
seemed
to
disappear 
in
favour 
of 
more
populist
programming.
It
was
in
this attempt
to
compete from within
an
inherently 
lion
competitive
organisation
ifaat
the BBC
began
to
disregard
the
principles
on
 which
is
was
founded.'
Today,
public
service
exists
in
a
curious
state,
somewhere between
the commercial
television
itdecries
and
the original
values
it
once
upheld. Increasingly,
public
service has
turned
to
'LCD
TV^
television
produced
in
the
style
of 
the
independents
for 
the
'lowest
common49Bominator.'
It
appears
to
want
to
somewhat
imitate
commercial
television
but
exists
in
a
framework 
which
gives
it
a
special
place
tliatcommands
the
viewer 
pay 
a
licence
fee 
evenwithin
in
a
larger 
system which
allows
the
viewer 
to
use
a
variety 
of 
other channels and
media. The BBC
ITV 
relationship
was
dubbed
a
"cosy 
duopoly^'
.but
the
manner 
in
which
public
service
 broadcasting
in
Britain
defines
ift
attentions
is
equally 
curious.
I
.
C
(
l^v
yff
 
MC1101 Historical
Development
O
Mass
Communications
Part
One
Coureework:
Question
1
 And
the
BBC
is
now very 
prominent
in
commercial
cable
and
satellite
programming, mostly 
outside
of 
tlieUK.
"[The
BBC1
can't
run
adverts
on
its two
UK 
TV channels, but
in
other 
places
and
other 
media, it
can
whore itself 
to
Babylon
and
back"
1
 
it
seeks
tomaintainthe brand
image of 
quality
across
its
range
of 
new
commercial,
worldwide
companies.
l^?
Not
so
much
tlie
original
benchmark 
for moralist
programming, as
a
reaction
/o
commerce,
Public Broadcasting Service
(PBS)
in
the USA 
was
established
in
1967
by 
a group
of 
educational stations. Through the
federally 
funded
Corporation
for 
Public Broadcasting,
PBS
moved
from
strictly 
educational
programming,
typified
by 
professors
at
blackboards,
to
a wide
variety 
of 
offerings,
including serious
drama,the
performing
arts.
science,
public affairs
documentaries,
and
children's
programs.
3
y
More
than
50
percent
of 
American
households
tune
in
to
PBS
each
week 
to watch
such
/T^.
programs
as
'Sesame
Street.'
Perhaps
publicservice
broadcastin", is
not
under 
the
attack 
once
'
,
1
thought.Perhaps audiences,
because
they 
cannot
find
programming
of 
high
moral
ar.d
educational
standards
on
commercial
TV,
turn
to
public service for a
particular 
and
special
type
of 
viewing.
PBS
seems
to
sit,
defiant
and
Canute
like,
on
the
media
beach,
while
thetorrents
of 
commercial TV 
wash ashore
The
BBC,
perhaps
"because
Britaiiriias
been
without
cheap,
diverse
networks,
swims
further outward
into
ITV's waters,
yet expects
to withhold
itsprivileged
status
as
national
broadcaster.
Public
service's
Reithian
ideals
are
an
age
apart
from
today's world,
and
borne out
of a
war 
time
era
which
assumed
tlie
public
had
little
choice
in
whattoconsume,
that
tlie nation
wanted
to
be
a
whole
andthat
broadcastershave
a
right
to cultural
high
ground.
There
are
currently 
a
number 
of 
factorswhich
may 
see
public
service
broadcasting
come
under attack.
Public
service's
new
'general interest'
aims may 
be
at
odds
with.
the
increasing specialisation
and
niche
market"
1
" of 
tlie
new narrowcastin",
channel
ex"losion.
which
offers a
heighteneddegree
of 
uses
and
gratification.
Viewers
interested
in
a
particular topic
can
switch
to that
topic's
own
channel and
instantly watch
a specialised
area
of 
coverage,
then
choose
to
change
to
a
new
topicwhen they 
get
bored. Public
servicebroadcasting
commands greater 
attentionand
televisual
awareness: because
it
deals
in
varied
programming,
and
often
broadcasts
particular 
topics
at
wide intervals.So,
a
viewer must
plan
his viewing
more
carefully 
and
specifically 
to
find
out when
his
topic
of interest will
be
given
airtime,Narrowcast
companies could
not
survive asa
singlespecialist
channel
because,
by definition,
they appeal to minority 
audiences.
So
a
single
network,
like
BSkyB,
will bring
together 
many 
narrowcast
channels
in
one
package.
public service
broadcaster 
like
the
BBC
is,
then,
faced with
tlie
prospect
of surviving
by 
producing
widely varying
programmesfor 
a
single
channel,
 while
the
narrowcasters'
parent
networks offer 
more
in
depth
coverage
and
moreairtime
to
tlie
individual
interests,
and
everyone'chases
an
industry 
 wideaudience depletion. Thenarrowcast bundles,
therefore,
could
be
said
to
offer 
a
more
valuable
product
than
is
available
from
public
service.
Furthermore,
this
depletion
in
audiences
is
due,
in
large
part, to the
wide
range
of 
media
themselves now
available.
In
much
tlie
same
way 
as
tlie
press'
circulation
suffered
at thearrival
of 
radio
and
television, television itself 
is
losing
audiences
tothe
worldwide web,
 
MC1101
Historical
Development
Of
Mass
Communications PartOneCoursework:
Question
1
Internet,
CD
ROM
multimedia,
video,
cable
and
interactive
services,
digital broadcasting,
the
much
fabled video
on
demand,interactive
TV developments,
the
convergence
of 
all
these
media,
and
new
personalised
news
and entertainment
services.
Pa
rticularly 
the latter 
 
which,
like
'CNN
Interactive,"
is
primarily 
put
into
practice
on
the
former 
 
gives
users
the
ability 
totailor 
the
media
content they 
receive
to
suit
their 
own
requirements.
Tills adds considerable value
to
the
mediaexperience
 
value
which
public
service
broadcasting
may 
find difficult
to
match.
Customisation
of 
content
embraces user 
choice,
and
trusts
that
the
audience
is
allowed
and
able
to
make
their 
owndecisions
about which
type
of 
news
or entertainment they 
receive.
Public service broadcasting
is
at
odds
with
this system
because
it
is alleged
to
have
a
clear,
high
minded
focus
of 
what
tlie audience
should 
be
seeing.
Therefore,
public
service
 broadcasters
will
very soon
find
themselves
having
to
lure
audiences from the
fragmented,
ernpow'
ered
media
users,
back 
to
a
style
of 
broadcasting
which
offers
less
value
and
choice.
The
clioice between
'personalise'
and 'patronise'
appa^r';
tn
lip
an
nnwinnable situation
 
m\d 
one
which,
if 
we
want
a
democratic,
pluralist
media,
fhonlil 
see
this
interaction and
customisation
prevail,
because
"new
media
and
all
sorts
of 
digital
delights
could
create
a
new
kind
of 
public
service
broadcasting
that
includes,
rather 
than
edifies,
the
public."
1
In
a
free
market
Western
economy, the
triumph
of 
consumer choice
is
one whicli
usually 
wins
over 
what others
think 
is
correct
for 
the
masses.
With
an
ever 
increasingplurality 
of 
topics
given coverage,
and
even
their 
own
channels,
perhaps public service
broadcasting is
not
worth
defending
 
particularly when
much
of 
the
said
moralist
programming
tliat
sought
"to
educate,inform
and
entertain"can
be
found
on
specialist
channels
devoting
moreairtime
to
these
very 
principles
Trying
to
be
all
tilings
to all
people
seems
a lost
cause,
and
may mean
public
service
broadcasters
like
tlie
BBC
end
upcatering
for 
no
group
particularly 
well. Also,
all
broadcasters
are
facing
up
to
the budget
cutting
challenge
of 
moving
into
digitals
 broadcasting.
Much
of 
this
fledgling
sub
industry 
wi.u
be
dominated
and
practised
by 
commercial
companies,
models
and
tactics.
For 
this,
the
public
service
broadcasters
who
want
a
piece
of 
the action, or 
a
slice
of 
the
digital
multiplex 
cake,
need money to
tender 
a
bid
money 
which
their audience
may 
not
be
prepared
to fund,
even
though
8%
of 
the
BBC licence
fee is going
into
setting
.up
a
digital
service
which
will
initially 
reach only 
paying
subscribers.
4
Tlie
Welsh
broadcaster,
S4C
 
the most
highly 
subsidised
broadcaster 
in
the
world
 
won
theright
to
use
a
multiplex 
in the
forthcoming
British digital
broadcasting
effort
5
Yet
still
it
must
cut
costs
in
order 
to
expand
its
Welsh
language
content to
account
for 
the increased airtime.
It
has
vowed
to
build
'virtual sets'
in
computers,
which,
they 
hope
will
reduce
the
cost
and
time
of 
programme
production.
6
All
of 
public
service
broadcasting will
need
to
go
throughsimilarly 
harsh cost
cutting
measures,
jeopardising
their 
crnent
status in their 
establishedmedia,
as
well as
their 
migration
into
new ones.
In
conclusion,
if 
public
sen
ice
broadcasting is
worth
defending,
then
it
•nust
cast
aside
itsdivided
remits. Crucially,
it
cannot
be
seen to
be
offering
a
similar 
product
to
commercial
television,
because its
viewers will
find
no
justification for paying a
licence
fee
whenrival
channels
chargenothing,
or 
a
smaller fee.
Public
service
broadcasting will
certainly 
be
worth
defending
if 
such
atime
arises
when
the
majority 
of 
methods
of 
accessing
the
media
become
subscription
only.
In
a mediaspace
in
 which every 
service
must
be
paid
for,
a
rogue
force offering free
service is
essential.
But
currently,
mere are competitors whichare
both
commercial
and
free,
and there
is
no
reason
public
service
should
be
that
force.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->