It is no exaggeration to say that the BBC invented Broadcasting in the United Kingdom. It certainly laid the foundation for a tradition of Public Service Broadcasting in Britain that still pertains and which expresses its vision in the mantra ‘to inform, to educate and to entertain’. And it still causes controversy, in that it is funded by tax money to the tune of £3 billion per year. And its national and global reach is staggering: eight digital TV channels (three now totally HD), nine national radio networks, a range of local radio stations, the largest presence online of any broadcaster in the world, nearly one third of the UK television audience (ca. 16 million people), and the most extensive news gathering and dissemination service in the world – larger by a third now than CNN – with a range of strategic broadcasting partnerships that include BBC America and BBC Arabic Television. In this course, we look at the history of the BBC since its creation as a monopoly supplier of all broadcasting services in the UK to its present role as first amongst equals in Britain; the development of radio and TV program formats by the BBC that strive to combine public service values with entertainment – soaps, sitcoms, factual programming and above all news services; the variety of platforms that the BBC has developed to reach its audience from conventional digital broadcasting to online services via the iPlayer – an online facility to see and hear broadcasting from the previous seven days – and the use of social media to encourage ‘citizen journalism’; and the global role of the BBC through BBC World. Enrollment priority to Newhouse and other communication majors.
Department: Television Radio & Film
Semesters: Fall, Spring