In this essay I will be discussing whether public servicingbroadcasting (PSB) is still relevant in 2017? I will be giving positives andnegative views to come to a reasonable conclusion in which PSB is relevant. Public broadcasting is radio, television and otherelectronic media outlets, which are all trying to do the same job, which isentertain the viewers in other words public service. In majority of the worldfunding comes from the government through annual fees. Public broadcastingcomes in two was locally or nationally depending on the country and station youare tuned into. In a few countries of the world public broadcasting is ran by asingle organization but on the other hand there are many public broadcasting inother countries which cater to lots of different audiences with havingdifferent language shows. Commercial broadcasting Commercial broadcasting (privatebroadcasting) is the broadcasting of television programs and radio programmingby privately owned corporate media, as opposed to state sponsorship.
Commercialbroadcasting now exists in most of the countries around the world, theinfluence of this means the number of public broadcasting has declinedsubstantially during the latter part of the 20th century. This meanspublic service broadcasting must do something significantly if they are tosurvive in the television industry. All commercial broadcasters are funded byTV adverts. Brands buy slots during commercial break looking for. Brands haveto pay TV channels for advertising slots at different times of the day, pluscost of a TV ad differs depending what time it comes on ‘A 30-second ad duringITV’s breakfast schedule between the likes of Good Morning Britain or Lorrainecosts between £3,000 to £4,000 on average. For a daytime slot, ads of the sametime length come in at £3,500 to £4,500, while a peak rate alternative can costanything from £10,000 £30,000’.
Every channel apart from the BBC runscommercial to make money. The BBC get there funding through TV licences. A TVLicence is a legal permission to install or use television receiving equipmentto watch or record television programmes as they are being shown on TV or liveon an online TV service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on demand,including catch up TV, on BBC Iplayer. The reason, which you pay for the TV licence, is to fund the BBC, thisis because the BBC is the only channel, which has no adverts and also can besued by the general public. It costs £147 for a colour and £49.50 for a blackand white TV Licence. The other broadcasting channels feel this is unfair andgives the BBC advantage over the other channels because they do not have to worryabout making money from commercial, this means the BBC is more advanced incertain areas. For example they have a radio stations, many channels and ondemand.
Currently the other broadcasting companies are arguing to get rid ofthe licence fee. However watching television is one of the main ways in whichmost people keep up with current affairs and also television is also one of themain sources for entertainment. Public channels are more highly trusted thancommercial channels for the accuracy, reliability, and impartiality of theirnews coverage. Watching public service channels and listening to public radiostations are stereotypically associated with a broad array of public attitudesand behaviour that underpin democratic politics. One of the reasons, which PSB is still relevant, is because publicbroadcasters have a huge national responsibility to provide a good publicservice, rather than a more narrowed approach of commercial broadcasters. Theoutput and outcomes of public broadcasters varies from what county they are inbut they all include news, entertainment and education (they have to do this).There are many public broadcasters around the world, however the main publicbroadcaster in the UK is the BBC.
The BBC provides a non-partisan informationbase, which in turn creates opportunities for political, cultural and localengagement. The BBC commits resources to producing news, entertainment andeducation. This is because they have to follow certain rules to be a publicbroadcaster. As mentioned before the BBCget funded by the TV licence this means they have been able to use the latesttechnology to there advantage. This has made them be able to be more advancedthen the other broadcasters on the television. They have been able to makenumerous radio channels, have lots of different television channels which caterfor different audiences and also having a on demand service for people to catchup or re-watch there favourite shows anytime anywhere. In every country contentmakes sense and most licensincing regulations require having it the primaryresponsibility is to make profit by maximising audiences and ratings.
Secondly “public good” rationale, which hasimplicitly defined public broadcasting for nearly a century. The decliningnumbers of journalists and newspapers is comparable in countries with and withoutstrong public broadcasters the business model is not threatened by publicbroadcasting, but by its own dynamic. However rather than making publicbroadcasting irrelevant, this context makes it arguably more important thanever. Without public broadcasters doing this a lot more people will beunemployed and not as much efficient and effective news will be being produced.Looking at a survey taken which people chose for the most likely to turn to ifyou want impartial news coverage we see the BBC with more then half of thevotes (53%) and the next closest competitor ITV with only 11% this shows usthat the general public the people watching the news watch the BBC news thismay be for many of reasons, but in my opinion I feel like the BBC has thehighest as the public feel that is it the most reliable source to get its newsfrom.
Finally as I mentioned in the previous paragraph publicbroadcasters have more trust then commercial broadcasters, this is becausepublic broadcasters need to have a wide reach to provide shared resourcesfunded by the general public and also have to be available to them. Publicbroadcasters are very unique in the fact they can have both the capacity and theauthority to act as an institution when the commercial media is less likely tofulfil this role. This again links back to the public broadcaster to have muchhigher level of the public trust. The House of Lords inquiry into the BBC’slicence fee is focusing on the public purposes of the national broadcaster. Itscapacity to sustain citizenship and civil society, promote education andlearning, stimulate creativity and cultural excellence, represent the fullrange of regions, bring the UK to the world and back and help deliver thebenefit for emerging technologies. Addressing all of these topics helps us toexplain why public broadcasting is still relevant in 2017. Charlotte Higginshas argued that the UK without the BBC would “no longer be Britain as we knowit”.
This also applies for the ABC in Australia.Public broadcasters continue to have a unique role ofchallenging, informing and entertaining a citizenry that is defined by nationalboundaries. However moving onto the negatives of PSB, there are many todiscuss.
Firstly young people are starting to abandon public service channelsand programmes, this is according to Ofcom. In 2001 it says, people between 16and 24 (mainly adolescent years). TheBBC for example has really good channels for young children, (CBBC andCbeebies). However around when they go to secondary school they develop newinterests and fall out of the old ones, which they use to have. Majority theteenagers turn to channels like MTV and channel 4 with teen drama, which theycan relate to. Ian Parkinson, a senior executive at Radio 1.
The average age ofBBC1 and BBC2 watchers is now 53 and 54 respectively the highest of the fivemain TV channels. Another example of young people starting to abandon publicservice channels is because Ofcom also says less educated viewers are turningaway to more serious material, this all links back to them being able to relateto the television which they are watching. In result of this the BBC executivesays ‘we are over serving white middle class 55 year olds.’ This statementindicates that the BBC are worried with the people which are tuning into theirchannel and are looking to broaden there audience. In 2002, for example,realising that it was hardly reaching young black people, it launched a digitalradio station called 1Xtra, modelled on pirate radio. Some people say the BBCis struggling to draw the young viewers in due to the fact the channel doesn’ttake enough risks. Comparing BBC to channel 4, we se channel 4 showing muchmore programmes aimed at a younger audience for example channel 4 aired ‘TheInbetweeners’ which was aimed at people attending education to, the show hadlot of real life situation which majority of teenagers can relate to.
KevinLygo, its director of television, says that whereas Channel 4 is rebellious andquestioning, many BBC television programmes are “full of integrity andtruthfulness but also safe, respectful, backward-looking and all aboutheritage”. Many of the BBC’s new and forthcoming offerings, such as “DoctorWho”, “Robin Hood” and “Sherlock Holmes”, are all “exhumed from the distantpast”. Which teenagers of these age are not really interested in.