Law School Discussion

anyone see the fourth game of the world series?

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Re: anyone see the fourth game of the world series?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2004, 07:38:32 PM »
bbc okay.
still a little swayed.

I don't know anything about the mechanics of the BBC; could you give me a quick summary? Thanks amarain.

All righty buster, I cancelled my party plans for tonight just so I could talk BBC with you ;)

The BBC basically began in the postwar era in a time when the ideal for media was to provide a public service. (Actually the BBC was founded long before this, in the 20's, but it basically shut down during WWII and didn't really start up majorly until after the war). There's BBC Radio and BBC TV. BBC TV basically has 5 channels - BBC1, BBC2, and Channel 3 (ITV), 4 and 5. Each channel is set up a different way. BBC is financed by a license fee that TV set owners pay to the government, ITV and Channel 5 are funded by mass advertising, and Channel 4 by minority advertising (this is so they don't compete with each other for the same market revenue). Channel 4 doesn't produce its own programming - it just commissions it. They each provide somewhat different programming as well.

OK, what's important though is the BBC model - it's funded by the government as well as the market. The vast majority of its production is domestic. But the most important thing is that it is basically independent of the government and the staff is allowed a wide degree of freedom. Producers of BBC shows have much more independence than producers in the US or int he rest of Europe. The philosophy is that the BBC sees the public as an audience of citizens to be informed and entertained rather than consumers who need to be provided a product. The BBC is required by law to show due impartiality (I think that's the exact phasing). I think the reason that it actually acts according to its values is that it has developed in this tradition from the beginning, starting with after the war when there was a real feeling of obligation, that this new technology of television should be used for the good of the public, rebuilding our society, etc.

Of course, all of this is changing, and the BBC is facing a lot of budget cuts, so who knows what will happen in the future. But personally, I feel that I get the most impartial, extensive international news from the BBC, so that's what I tend to read online. Actually I did some studies for my classes, doing a content analysis of BBC online news vs. other online news sources (the New York Times, etc), and from a quantitative standpoint, the BBC really is more impartial and less emotional in its coverage.


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Re: anyone see the fourth game of the world series?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2004, 08:12:37 PM »
yeah, it's not perfect, but in my opinion, it's the most objective, comprehensive news coverage I've come across. But I'd be open to other suggestions if someone knows of a better source.

bbc okay.
still a little swayed.


Re: anyone see the fourth game of the world series?
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2004, 05:07:45 AM »
Thanks for the info, amarain. I hope you didn't stay in Saturday night waiting for my response.  ;)

I think (not that this is any brilliant insight or anything) independence from both governmental and corporate masters, responsibility and public service are the key components that separate the BBC from the junk we deal with here. Theoretically, of course, these are all standard journalistic ethics, but that's a whole other depressing topic.

Unfortunately (to me) we as a society seem unwilling to consider that things with benefits which are difficult to quantify (i.e. public broadcasting, public transportation, etc.) can nonetheless be worth substantial commitments. Even the minimal investments we make in PBS are constantly under siege. I realize that this leaves out of the equation our storied collective distrust of government, but I think that is secondary in this case. Perhaps, anyway, that distrust in government has been fostered by those who benefit, such as those who have somehow convinced us that we have little say in the appropriate use of our public airwaves.