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Television PolicyThe MacTaggart Lectures$
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Bob Franklin

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780748617173

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 10 April 2020

Power and Pluralism in Broadcasting

Power and Pluralism in Broadcasting

The James MacTaggart Lecture 1987

Chapter:
(p.113) Power and Pluralism in Broadcasting
Source:
Television Policy
Author(s):

Phillip Whitehead

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.003.0011

In this lecture, the author, a Labour MP and television producer, suggests that the broadcasting industry in Britain is suffering the most severe and sustained attack he can recall in the last twenty-five years. The assailants include politicians, government policy, new technology, free market economics and even broadcasting regulators. The author argues that the BBC has become closer to the model espoused by Annan, but the fifteen regional companies of ITV are ‘now bought and sold with little regard to their region’; the diversity of television programming produced in the regions is being lost. By contrast, the independent producers have brought ‘a quite new pluralism to British television’, although this may be compromised by a ‘Peacock afterthought’ which threatens to change advertising arrangements at Channel 4 and may result in a loss of ‘innovatory zest’. Similarly, ITV may be ‘dragged down’ by its investment in satellite and cable television if these innovatory services fail in the late 1990s. The author claims that a system of European-wide regulation is the ‘real answer’ to secure diversity and pluralism in broadcasting.

Keywords:   broadcasting industry, Britain, BBC, ITV, television programming, pluralism, independent producers, advertising, cable television, regulation

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