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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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Occupying Powers

Occupying Powers

The James MacTaggart Lecture 1993

(p.165) Occupying Powers
Television Policy

Dennis Potter

Edinburgh University Press

In this lecture, the author, a distinguished and controversial television dramatist whose play Brimstone and Treacle was banned by the BBC, argues that the BBC is currently under attack and ‘driven on to the back foot’ by an ideologically motivated and malicious government, aided and abetted by supine managers at the BBC who have responded by taking ‘several more steps backward’. The creative culture of the BBC is being replaced by ‘management culture’, articulated via a ‘dogma-driven rhetoric’. Television which used to offer a ‘window on the world’ has been ‘ripped apart’ and reassembled by politicians and cost accountants who now decide ‘what we can and cannot see on our screens’. The author argues that we must build defences to protect broadcasting and democracy from the occupying powers of business, bureaucratic management and politicians. There must be regulation to control the growing concentration of ownership and the expansion of cross-media ownership. The author concludes by announcing his intention to apply for the post of Chairman of the Governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Keywords:   BBC, management culture, broadcasting, democracy, regulation, ownership, cross-media, television

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