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

To what extent was the political independence of the BBC threatened by the Conservative governments of the 1980's?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was the political independence of the BBC threatened by the Conservative governments of the 1980's? There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the political independence of the BBC was threatened by conservative governments. The conservative governments were always going to dislike the BBC because they hold ideological views to the center-right and as such did not like a state run medium with such influence popularity. Also the idea that people were made to pay a license fee even though they did not necessarily watch the BBC was another reason, however ostensive, the government disliked the BBC. To this end Thatcher and her government, elected in 1979, tried to partially privatise the BBC with the Peacock inquiry which was meant to find that advertising was necessary to the BBC and thus the license fee would become less important and perhaps phased out. Unfortunately for Mrs. ...read more.


However the government saw it differently and the home secretary wrote a scathing letter to the head of the BBC accusing the BBC of being 'left wing' and at the 'edge of the union'. A board of vetted governors set up by Thatcher also weighed in, meeting with the home secretary, and then as the director general away was away at the time viewing the program and apprising Leon Britton of its total content. The result was the program was not aired for two months until the anger of the director general was finally yielded to. This showed a marked influence controlling the board of governors to the interests of the government. However there is some evidence that the BBC remained politically independent from the government during the 1980's. The mere fact that documentaries such as 'real lives' were allowed to be shown shows that, if grudgingly, the Government did yield to the BBC. ...read more.


In essence this 'finished up angering both sides'. In conclusion while the BBC certainly had its political independence threatened by governments of the 1980's, this suppression rarely lasted long, caused out cry and was resurgent. The latter alone means one could say the BBC's political independence was not truly threatened because people at the core of the BBC such as Milne continued to affront this suppression. However, symbolic of the fall of this opposition was the true loss to the independence of the organization the loss of Milne in 1987, 'the last true director general of the BBC', then board members and the new director general gained more confidence in their actions at the very end of the 1980's. This is Marxist as the dominant conservative ideology, traditionally held by elites as well, influenced working class people through the new conservative BBC eventually. ...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)

    to develop them selves other wise they lose both charter & license fee. BBC can save its market place by compete for ratings with other channels than being a public service broadcaster by rating other channels BBC can encourage the government to increase their shares in BBC 2-New attractive and

  2. Taking the BBC and at least one other foreign public broadcaster as your focus, ...

    change of emphasis from almost `nannying` the public where they appeared to believe, as Beveridge (1947) stated, `a sense of mission became a sense of divine right`. (Beveridge, quoted in Curran and Seaton. 1997: P162), to a more approachable and conversationalist (particularly with reference to news production) style of broadcasting.

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

    This naturalizes one view of society and stops us thinking, obtaining and acting on alternative views. Political functions: This helps us to understand the operation of politics in our society. However, it gives us the illusion of participating in the political process, but actually endorses the authority of those who continue to run our lives unquestioned.

  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

  1. The BBC organisation

    Unlike the press the BBC is formally obliged to remain impartial. To maintain a degree of independence from the state of the governing administration was to appoint a committee of 12 public figures on a five yearly basis who would, in turn, appoint a director general.

  2. Produce an extract from a documentary series, or current affairs programme to include studio ...

    The next stage was to discuss and choose a topic for the extraction to be based around. There were many topics discussed but the two main subjects were 'students and local rivalry' and 'teenage pregnancy'. We chose these because we could familiarise with these topics giving us a better view of what to discuss and present to the audience.

  1. Discuss whether or not the BBC should be allowed to take advertising and sponsorship ...

    through advertising and sponsorship. It is likely that advertising would have a detrimental effect on public service broadcasting. Advertisers and sponsors want value for money and minority programmes that only a small proportion of the population watch will not be cost-effective for their advertisers.

  2. To what extent was the BBC in the 1920s the personal creation of John ...

    He strongly believed that given the opportunity, everyone - not just the cultural elite - could appreciate Bach and Shakespeare, and this opportunity he was determined to provide. The aim of public service broadcasting was to give the public a 'better' service than it asked for.

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