Television and Radio in the United Kingdom was first published in 1981. Burton Paulu regards British broadcasting as the best in the world, and ascribes controlled competition as the basic reason for its present status. The BBC, the most highly respected of all broadcasting services, benefited from the creation, in 1954, of the commercially-supported Independent Television Authority (now the Independent Broadcasting Authority). Not only did Independent Television provide a second programme source, but it also led to many improvements in the BBC. The two consistently endeavour to outdo the other, but if competition threatens programme standards, the respective governing boards step in to curb excesses. Yet this is done without any loss of editorial freedom. One important result of this regulation is that, despite advertiser pressures the overall programme service of the IBA is much better balanced than that of America’s commercial broadcasters, and advertising interruptions are much better controlled. The book examines British broadcasting’s legal structure, financial basis, personnel policies, and technical facilities with reference to its programme services. Domestic and overseas programmes are described, and the findings of audience research are reviewed.
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