Bland, Boring, Criminal - TV Is in a Sorry State; the BBC Holds a Special Responsibility for the Decline of British Television, Argues Nick Radlo

The Birmingham Post (England), September 5, 2001 | Go to article overview

Bland, Boring, Criminal - TV Is in a Sorry State; the BBC Holds a Special Responsibility for the Decline of British Television, Argues Nick Radlo


Byline: Nick Radlo

This was network television showing people from Birmingham with something approaching respect. When's the last time you saw that?

Last weekend BBC Radio 4 held a debate on whether television is good for you. As the participants pointed out, television can be good for you, but increasingly there's a feeling that it is letting us down.

Increasingly it is giving us a diet of crime drama, makeover programmes and reality TV where ordinary people are made to look stupid. Everywhere you look in the schedules there is trivia of all kinds and a tendency to go for the downmarket, ratings-grabbing option.

There's an excuse for commercial TV - it needs the ratings to draw in advertisers - but what's the excuse for the BBC?

It's the world's best funded public service broadcaster to the tune of pounds 2.4 billion a year. It's supposed to inform, educate and entertain, but all it does now is entertain. Is that all the licence fee is for - another version of ITV?

There's a debate raging about what direction the BBC should take. The Government is about to announce whether it can launch a bouquet of digital channels.That decision is only a fortnight away - and the Government is expected to give the BBC what it wants.

The third of the nation who have invested in digital subscription TV will benefit. They will have two extra children's channels, another youth channel and an arts channel. The remaining two-thirds of Britain who appear to be quite content with analogue TV - just Channels 1 to 5 - might begin to wonder just what they might lose when the BBC expands into its extra channels.

The Radio 4 debate took place at the annual Edinburgh Television Festival, where there was a widespread feeling the BBC has pulled back from offering the kaleidoscope of TV programming it once did. There used to be serious and important documentary programmes interspersed amongst the entertainment and drama. They've almost disappeared - even the serious programmes are entertainment-led now.

The subject matter covered by drama and documentary gets ever narrower. Crime is the dominant theme, with ever more crime drama series and crime documentaries.

Last night the BBC launched two new documentary series - Mind of a Murderer on BBC2 and Brighton Bill on BBC1. The latter is an observational series following a police rapid response unit in Brighton. How many programmes like that have we seen before?

Mind of a Murderer sets out to discover what lies behind the urge to kill and focuses on the psychotic and the psychopathic.

The programme features one example of each - a man in Texas who killed his mother when he was 17, and a serial killer in Canada who killed several children 35 years ago.

The programme was an opportunity to watch them in close-up while they talked about their crimes. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Bland, Boring, Criminal - TV Is in a Sorry State; the BBC Holds a Special Responsibility for the Decline of British Television, Argues Nick Radlo
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.