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British Broadcasting in Transition

British Broadcasting in Transition

BURTON PAULU
Copyright Date: 1961
Edition: NED - New edition
Pages: 260
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5749/j.ctttsjcg
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  • Book Info
    British Broadcasting in Transition
    Book Description:

    British Broadcasting in Transition was first published in 1961. Recent developments in British radio and television broadcasting are of keen interest to those on both sides of the Atlantic who are concerned with the basic problems of broadcast regulation. Dr. Paulu gives a detailed account of these developments since 1955, when the new Independent Television Authority introduced commercial television in competition with the noncommercial service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. This volume, a sequel to his earlier book, British Broadcasting: Radio and Television in the United Kingdom, brings the study up to date and provides a comprehensive basis for an evaluation of the British system of managing the airwaves. The author describes the legal and financial structures of both the BBC and the ITA and reviews their program policies and operations. He discusses the effects of television on other communications media and the reaction of the British public to both radio and television. He appraises current performances of the BBC and ITA, notes the effects of competitions, and offers some recommendations for the future of British broadcasting. With increasing numbers of Americans questioning the merits of their broadcasting system, with Britons considering possible changes in theirs, and with several Continental countries contemplating commercial support for television, this account of the British experience provides timely and needed data.

    eISBN: 978-0-8166-6396-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Preface
    (pp. v-viii)
    Burton Paulu
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. I British Broadcasting Today
    (pp. 3-6)

    British broadcasting is in a state of transition.

    In 1954 the United Kingdom, after being served for many years by the noncommercial British Broadcasting Corporation, created the Independent Television Authority to provide a supplementary television service supported by advertising. The present Charter and Licence of the BBC, together with the Television Act which is the legal basis for the ITA, will expire in 1964, by which time the Pilkington Committee will have completed its extensive examination of all aspects of British broadcasting, and Parliament probably will have legislated for the future.

    These developments are of great interest to people everywhere...

  5. II The British Broadcasting Corporation
    (pp. 7-29)

    Any study of British broadcasting must begin with the British Broadcasting Corporation. The BBC was Britain’s first permanent broadcasting agency, and for a long time it was the only one. It still has a monopoly on domestic radio services; it is solely responsible for Britain’s international broadcasting; and it operates the United Kingdom’s most complete television service. Finally, it has been officially designated as the country’s “main instrument for broadcasting,” whereas the newer Independent Television Authority has been charged only with providing “television broadcasting services, additional to those of the British Broadcasting Corporation.”¹

    Radio broadcasting in the United Kingdom began...

  6. III The Independent Television Authority
    (pp. 30-56)

    The expression “Independent Television” includes the Independent Television Authority and the private contractors who provide its programs. The advertisers and their agencies have a stake in the system too, as do such suppliers of services as television film companies and audience research organizations. But Independent Television, first of all, is the ITA itself.

    Commercial television came to Britain, not spontaneously in answer to widespread public demand, but because a well-organized pressure campaign took advantage of the temper of the times to end the BBC’s television monopoly and to introduce a competitive system supported by advertising.¹

    The British public had its...

  7. IV Independent Television’s Program Companies
    (pp. 57-76)

    Parliament did not want the Independent Television Authority to produce programs as does the British Broadcasting Corporation, and so declared in the Television Act that with minor exceptions the programs broadcast by it should “be provided not by the Authority but by ... ‘programme contractors.’” To date, however, the Authority itself has produced no programs at all, nor is it likely to do so in the future.¹

    Under the British system the program companies are somewhat the counterparts of America’s broadcasting stations, and their contracts with the Authority are roughly equivalent to the licenses received by American stations from the...

  8. V Television Programs in the United Kingdom: News and Opinion
    (pp. 77-101)

    The British Broadcasting Corporation and the Independent Television Authority are the only organizations responsible to the government for television programing in the United Kingdom, although they are not the only agencies involved in program production. The BBC of course does all of its own programing, but the ITA delegates responsibility to its program contractors.

    Most ITV viewers do not differentiate among the several program companies, although knowledgeable critics have come to recognize certain differences in their output. Thus, Associated Television, because of its entertainment and theatrical affiliations, is noted for light entertainment. The other London company, Associated-Rediffusion, has a good...

  9. VI Television Programs in the United Kingdom: Political Broadcasting
    (pp. 102-117)

    Because broadcasting is always a reflection of the society it serves, no system of radio and television can be appraised apart from its political and social setting. In no respect is this more true than in regard to political broadcasting. In the United Kingdom, the recent developments in political broadcasting are important as a reflection of general social change, at the same time that they are among the most significant new features of broadcasting itself.

    British political parties are directly involved in three types of programs : party political broadcasts; noncontroversial reports to the nation by government spokesmen (ministerial broadcasts);...

  10. VII Television Programs in the United Kingdom: Information, Education, and Entertainment
    (pp. 118-146)

    Programs of information, education, and entertainment form the major portion of any broadcasting organization’s output. To the serious person, the informational and cultural programs may seem most important, and indeed they are important. But the significance of entertainment features should not be overlooked. Because they attract the most — and often least sophisticated — viewers, they may have the greatest public impact, at the same time that they build audiences for serious programs. Finally, it is their success that determines a commercial station’s income level, for which reason many of the principal program policy decisions in any commercial broadcasting organization...

  11. VIII The Impact of Television on Radio, Press, and Cinema
    (pp. 147-168)

    All over the world, the growth of television has affected the public’s use of radio, press, and cinema. In the United States, where 87 per cent of all homes have television receivers, television has led to revolutionary developments in radio programing and economics, important changes in publishing, and drastic reorganizations in the film industry. The United Kingdom, with television in two out of every three homes, is repeating these experiences, as British radio, press and cinema re-examine their policies and realign their operating procedures for better services and assured survival in the television age.

    High standards of public service responsibility...

  12. IX The Audience for British Radio and Television
    (pp. 169-190)

    The creation of the Independent Television Authority provided great impetus for the development of audience research in the United Kingdom. Before 1955 there were only the BBC’s studies of its own audiences and the Gallup Poll reports on Radio Luxembourg. But the BBC was very reluctant to publish its findings, and the Radio Luxembourg data were intended primarily for prospective radio advertisers. The whole field was enormously expanded, therefore, when the coming of the ITA brought into being British Pulse and Schwerin, along with Television Audience Measurement (TAM) and some research by the program companies. Inevitably, much of this new...

  13. X The Future of British Broadcasting
    (pp. 191-224)

    The recent history and the future of British radio and television are matters of importance to people everywhere who are interested in the basic problems of broadcasting. By replacing what probably was the world’s best broadcasting monopoly with a competitive system, Britain created an excellent laboratory in which to observe the relative advantages and disadvantages of monopoly and competition. The British experiment also is significant because its unique commercial system may contain some of the answers to the universal problems of commercial broadcast regulation.

    British broadcasting also has an exciting future. If the United Kingdom changes from a 405- to...

  14. APPENDIX Television Technical Data
    (pp. 225-230)
  15. NOTES
    (pp. 231-241)
  16. BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 242-245)
  17. INDEX
    (pp. 246-250)