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Back to the Future: The Uses of Television in the Digital Age

Bailey, Michael (2019) 'Back to the Future: The Uses of Television in the Digital Age.' Journal of British Cinema and Television, 16 (2). pp. 146-169. ISSN 1743-4521

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This article considers some of the present-day issues, challenges and possibilities facing television broadcasting via a critical examination of the recently published Goldsmiths report on the future of public service television in the twenty-first century. Focusing mainly on UK terrestrial broadcasters (BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5), the article summarises and expands on the report's key findings and recommendations, particularly in relation to questions concerning digitalisation, content, diversity, quality, marketisation, funding and national and regional heritage. The article argues that, despite the rise of the Internet and the proliferation of digital platforms, television viewing remains a common source of information and entertainment and is characterised by meaningful continuities. Additionally, the article outlines the vitally important role played by David Puttnam, chair of the Goldsmiths inquiry, in defending public service television through his active engagement with relevant parliamentary committees and as a widely respected media professional. Finally, the article reflects on the continuing relevance of the 1962 Pilkington Report on Broadcasting, which was similarly commissioned in order to evaluate the purposes of television. In so doing, the article suggests that Pilkington's criticisms of creeping commercialism and the ensuing regulatory proposals still represent a cogent engagement with the idea of public service broadcasting as a primary facilitator of deliberative democracy.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: BBC, David Puttnam, digital television, Goldsmiths, Pilkington Report, populism, public service broadcasting, Richard Hoggart
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2018 11:37
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:48

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