An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

Synopsis

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting is a concise and accessible history of British radio and television. It begins with the birth of radio at the beginning of the twentieth century and discusses key moments in media history, from the first wireless broadcast in 1920 through to recent developments in digital broadcasting and the internet.Distinguishing broadcasting from other kinds of mass media, and evaluating the way in which audiences have experienced the medium, Andrew Crisell considers the nature and evolution of broadcasting, the growth of broadcasting institutions and the relation of broadcasting to a wider political and social context. This fully updated and expanded second edition includes:*the latest developments in digital broadcasting and the internet*broadcasting in a multimedia era and its prospects for the future*the concept of public service broadcasting and its changing role in an era of interactivity, multiple channels and pay per view*an evaluation of recent political pressures on the BBC and ITV duopoly*a timeline of key broadcasting events and annotated advice on further reading.

Excerpt

This second edition of An Introductory History of British Broadcasting was written with three main aims. the first was to try to bring it more or less up to date. I have added to the coverage of digital broadcasting and of that difficult, sprawling entity, the internet, suggesting some of the ways in which it might overlap with conventional forms of broadcasting. But updating is always more than a matter of simple chronological addition: new facts cast older ones in a different light, trends one confidently predicted a year or two ago fail to develop and are eclipsed by others which once seemed negligible. in broadcasting particularly, technological developments have come so thick and fast that the experts, let alone the laity, are hard put to make sense of them. Like most people's views about its future, my own change almost from moment to moment, for getting a clear view ahead is like trying to gain a foothold on shifting sand. in the last part of the book I suggest that the character of broadcasting is being so radically transformed that the word itself may soon cease to serve as an adequate description.

My other two aims were to remedy what I perceived to be the deficiencies of the first edition. One concerned that slippery term 'public service' - a phrase on every broadcaster's lips, from the Director General of the bbc to the captains of commercial radio. One might be forgiven for feeling that the less it is understood, the more it is talked about. Like a child's comfort blanket it is brought out and caressed on every occasion, a talisman against threats to cut the licence fee or complaints about pandering to the masses. My aim, then, was to trace the evolution of the concept more clearly, to note how it met changing conditions sometimes by shedding certain of its tenets, sometimes by acquiring new ones. I hoped not only to provide a clearer historical understanding of the concept but to determine what life may be left to it in an era of multi-channel 'narrowcasting', of interactivity and pay per view.

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