• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How relevant is Reith's idea of public service broadcasting in relation to contemporary television?

Extracts from this document...


02074512E How relevant is Reith's idea of public service broadcasting in relation to contemporary television? The beginning of the 20th century saw the dawn of a new form of power. A means to communicate with thousands, and eventually millions of people simultaneously, to convey your ideas across a whole nation in a matter of seconds. This power was broadcasting. Broadcasting at the time was seen as a public utility, and as the wave spectrum was limited, the government got involved in its distribution. It decided the best way to fund broadcasting was a license fee. A British Broadcasting Company (which in 1927 would become the British Broadcasting Corporation) was formed, and on November 14th 1922, after over a million ten-shilling licenses were sold, it started transmissions. The first managing director of this company was John Reith, a Scotsman with a background in engineering. When he signed up for the job he did not even know what broadcasting meant, and yet he would very soon shape the future of broadcasting in Britain for the next 80 years. In 1925, for the Crawford report, Reith was asked for his opinion on broadcasting. He came up with several ideas about it, ideas that are still in use to this very day. ...read more.


We know have in England four analogue public service broadcasting channels: BBC1, BBC2, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Even though the two latter ones do carry advertising, they are still public service broadcasting channels, in comparison to ITV, which is privately owned. There are some PSB digital channels being rolled out by the BBC, like BBC choice (soon to be replaced by BBC3), Cbeebies, a children's channel, BBC4 and a learning zone channel). However these are not yet widely available, as not many households possess digital receivers yet. Let us look at the "terrestrial" channels, and how they measure up to Reith's ideas. Firstly Reith wanted to inform and educate. BBC1 carries the BBC's news bulletins as well as documentaries and educational programs. BBC2 carries a lot of educational programs for children in the mornings, many factual programs during peak time in the evening, and learning zone at night. Channel4 also has educational and factual programs but only one news program albeit of high quality. Channel 5 has short news bulletins on the hour every hour and "super serves for the pre-school age group" (C5 corporate web site).However, these do not make up the most of these channels' programming grid. ...read more.


Nowadays, if PSB is to cater for all minorities, the moral code has to change: if any of the public service channels banned a violinist as Reith did because she was a divorcee, they would be fined by regulations authorities. Our society has become much more tolerant, and public service broadcasting reflects this on all channels. Most of Reith's ideas about PSB are relevant to contemporary PSB channels. However commercial channels do not abide by these ethics. Graham Murdock said that "audiences are addressed by PSB as citizens, not consumers" as they are by commercial channels. The aim of these channels it to make as much money as they can through advertising, and to achieve this they need ratings. This compromises on quality and does not allow them to do things that PSB can and must: address audiences that advertisers are not interested in, thus catering for everyone. The future is bringing a new challenge: digital channels. These will be able to target much more precise audiences: catering for minorities or better aimed advertising? Only time will tell, but if PSB has managed to survive 80 years, with changes as radical as the introduction of TV, there is no reason to think it will not survive in the digital age. Auntie is here to stay. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Radio section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Radio essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    What are the advantages and disadvantages of the BBC?

    3 star(s)

    stay national and UK provider or to go out to the global arena and compete globally. And this is the last dilemma that they face. Now, I will talk about the advantages of being a global company: 1- More expansion and being big brand name: License fee funding mechanism itself encourages organization to compete for audiences.

  2. The Strengths and Weaknesses of Radio: Exploitation of its Strengths to come up with ...

    New competition from audio streaming on the Internet, as well as overseas satellite radio firms will cut into commercial radio audiences. Music stations are particularly vulnerable to decreased time spent listening, making it more attractive to expand into talk programming on FM.

  1. Explain the functions, trends and nature of ownership and control in the British Mass ...

    Visit the site for regional company news. Carlton Central Region The Central Region is one of three areas for which Carlton TV is the ITV broadcaster. Visit the site for regional company news. Carlton International Carlton International is the largest distributor of classic British films and the biggest sales house for British TV outside the BBC.

  2. Radio One Case

    The second alternative, for Radio One, Inc. is to drop all negotiations for the stations and focus its effort and capital on acquisition of the Clear Channel stations. This would be a viable alternative, if capital and financing were

  1. the lisbon agenda UK Response to enhancing skills is insufficient

    2001 in Scotland and UK especially had fewer females joining New Deal compared to males. New Deal has had to have numerous reforms in view of increasing the labour force with productive and well adapted employees yet there is no evidence or any statistics in the Lisbon Agenda (for growth and jobs)

  2. No Promises in the Wind

    Thousands of phone calls were made to CBS, newspaper offices, and police stations. This panic got out of hand and shortly after the fake news broadcasts, the FCC conducted hearings and passed laws and regulated that no fake news was to be reported.

  1. Describe popular culture in Britain at the beginning of the 1960's (1960 - 1965) ...

    This resulted in BBC 1 no longer being as popular. By the early 60's popular culture in Britain was still dominated by the older generation. Regional accents were almost unheard of on TV until the biggest accomplishment so far was broadcasted, Coronation Street on ITV and Z Cars on the BBC.

  2. Sir John Reith was the first Director General of the BBC, and he had ...

    The funding of the service was based upon the license fee and their agreement with parliament, and this was decided when it was felt that advertising could limit the number of programmes they would be able to broadcast. They maintained the view that 'our responsibility is to carry into the

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work