The key developments that have occurred in television since 1970.

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History of the Mass Media.

The key developments that have occurred in television since 1970.


In this research project, I will set out to evaluate and reflect on the key developments that have occurred in television since 1970.

Firstly, I will define the understanding of television, broadcasting and the term “mass media”. Then I will review how it has been deployed, reflecting on the key developments that have occurred since 1970.


Television is a  tool for  and receiving sound and moving images over a distance. (Smart 1995). Programming is broadcast on television /channels.

According to ITV’s website, television is the most powerful medium providing advertisers with a unique delivery of fame that no other medium can offer, because television is the UK’s No.1 leisure activity, the most enjoyed activity exceeding any other media. The reason being is television provides a rich visual impact that no other medium can deliver with the ability to actively engage millions of viewers at the same time. Therefore, if you are an advertiser wishing to build brand awareness and communicate creatively with your target market, then television is where to advertise as no other medium comes close to the impact of television. ().

The ‘Mass media’.

The term ‘mass media’ refers to forms of communication, which are directed at large mass audiences without any personal contact. The main media of mass communication includes radio, magazines, newspapers, books, cinema, videos, advertising, video games, CDs, the Internet and television. Media such as television have an across-the-board influence over our experience and over our ‘public opinion’, not only because they shape our attitudes in particular ways, but also because they are the means of access to the knowledge on which many social activities depend. (Giddens 2002. p452).

The History of Television.

The state has been directly involved in the administration of television broadcasting in the majority of countries.

In Britain broadcasting has come along way since it originally emerged as radio broadcasting, which was set up by chief radio manufactures such as Guglielmo Marconi in the 1920s and formed the public organization, (BBC) the British Broadcasting Company, (as it was originally called then).(

Initially, because bandwidth was limited, terrestrial broadcasting was the only way television could be distributed. In the US, the  authorized stations to broadcast advertisements, but insisted on public service programming commitments as a requirement for a license.  

The UK chose a different way, by imposing a  fee on owners of every household that owned a television, to fund the , which had public service as part of its . (Giddens 2002. p453).

Appointed by the Queen on advice from ministers, twelve Governors act as trustees of the public interest and regulate the BBC. (

The fees are to make sure that the BBC is adequately funded to provide for the British public high quality to "". (

For many years, the BBC has also received funding from British Government departments for particular segments of its output. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office fund for instance fund the ‘,’ which is broadcast around the world. In recent years, the BBC has also received large amounts of revenue from its commercial section particularly by exploiting its massive back catalogue of programmes.

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BBC  and  output has been free of the constraints of commercial advertisers because of this unique funding method, leaving programme makers (in theory), accountable only to the licence payer. However, pressure from political parties via appointments to the board of governors and by threats over changes to the amount of the licence fee as well as competition with commercial television, channels for audience share are still significant factors in the corporation's output. (),

In 1955 Independent Television ITV was set up to provide competition to the , because it was suggested that perhaps the Corporation's monopoly on broadcasting was ...

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