- oD 50.50
No to TTIP
Andrew Grahams defence of the public service ethos argues for the social good of not-for-profit media. David Elstein doesnt disagree with the premise, but with the idea that the BBC is beyond criticism or reform. The debate develops with contributions from leading media theorist Jean Seaton, Steve Barnett and Channel 4s David Lloyd. Taking in the global lessons from New Zealand, India, Latin America and Italy, the main protagonists move toward a shared vision of the landscape, if little agreement on the priorities.
Democracy needs probing and accessible broadcasting news sources which commercial stations are unlikely to provide. David Elsteins strong case for marketplace virtue remains at the level of potential. But, concludes the media co-editor, the shadow of audience tune-out threatens us all.
Social purpose is indeed essential to broadcasting something ignored in the recent market farces of the UK sector. But funding sources and methods are still crucial in judging performance and value when the publics money is being spent. The emotional preference for the public over the commercial sector inhibits the rational assessment of either.
The old David Elstein understood what the new one has seemingly forgotten, that an obsession with cost leads to the worst of both worlds inefficiency as well as an erosion of the creative spirit. It is time to rethink.
The core arguments against the way public sector broadcasting operates in the UK are restated by the media section co-editor: excessive cost, inefficiency, and (in the context of a fragmenting audience) anachronism. By the valid criterion of good value for public money, BBC and Channel 4 simply do not cut the mustard.
Those who have endured decades of perverse Bollywood fantasies bombarding their own besieged cultures will point to darker shades cast by Indias pretensions to world power status.
Latin America has been stony ground for public broadcasting. In the era of privatisation, political timidity in the face of business has facilitated state capture by media moguls. But can local, democratic vitality and imaginative use of new technology add diversity to the media landscape?
By the logic of New Labour Absolutely Fabulous promotes drunkenness and child abuse, and Fawlty Towers is offensive to Britains hoteliers.
Silvio Berlusconis victory in the Italian general election returned the TV mogul to political power. But the Italian people were not brainwashed by his television stations. Rather, the skills and resources of his corporate machine allowed him to construct the right wing alliance which now dominates Italian politics.
After the single-channel conformism of the 1970s and the free market typhoon of the 1980s, New Zealand is trying to establish a public service culture in a commercial broadcasting environment. The head of news at Channel 4 went there to learn, advise and report.
The inner politics of Czech television itself became the news last December, as staff protested another managerial change in the public broadcasting system. But was this a principled challenge to political interference, or a case of programme-makers run wild?
While it is attractive to toy with the idea of broadcasting left to a free market it is clear that this cannot maintain diversity of output.
The British experience shows that the public service model can offer a foundation of excellence across the broadcasting spectrum as well as keeping us all honest. The story of Independent Television News reveals how commercial invention and imaginative regulation once worked in concert. Can they do so again?
The debate about public service broadcasting has been conducted in a pre-web frame. The whole argument is being altered by the experiences of new forms of public information as we go digital, says the British Film Institutes head of education.
Public service TV goes hand in hand with established, nationally based political systems. It is the medium for the nation not for the network society.
Indias broadcasting media, driven by advertising and international business, has exploded into diverse life in the last decade. The public broadcasters, once so powerful, are drifting. Is there a role for regulation?
The licence fee for out-of-touch public service: taxation without representation?
We need public service broadcasting to be protected more than ever. The commercialisation of the BBC and C4 are reasons to fight for them.
McKinsey's report on public service funding is an useful read and very supportive of the BBC - I wonder who paid for it?
Public-interest media regulation has never been needed as much as it is today. But lets not just think globally here: lets act locally make the BBC a commonwealth.
A change in Portugal's media landscape has not been for the better, says Eunice Goes.
The new media landscape demands fresh, undogmatic thinking. Three wise men launch the media debate on an unsuspecting world.
Andrew Grahams argument is seductive but wrong. The British experience shows public service broadcasting is wasteful, patronising and too close to power. A diverse, efficient future is coming thanks to the market.
A leading British economist takes on the free market argument, and insists public service broadcasters are as necessary for a healthy society as fresh air.