TRF560.1 The BBC: Reinventing Public Service Broadcasting (Spring)

Imagine that PBS in the United States had created American broadcasting… and that it was still the best funded national broadcaster and an institution whose values and standards continued to determine all other American broadcasters’ activities, whatever their funding model. The BBC laid the foundation for a tradition of Public Service Broadcasting in Britain with a mission ‘to inform, educate and entertain.’ Despite funding of nearly £3 billion per year from the government and licence fees, the BBC is facing the challenge of how to remain relevant in the face of satellite broadcasting and streaming.

This course will explore how the BBC…

  • Operates as the world’s largest news organization
  • Has pioneered entertainment programming from The Office to the soap opera EastEnders with a distinctive social agenda
  • Acts as a testbed for new styles of programming—mockumentary, reality TV, food programmes, etc.
  • Is the major sports broadcaster in the UK
  • Reflects the UK back to its audience through coverage of major national events such as Royal Weddings (most recently between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle) and the State Opening of Parliament
  • Responds to the challenge of diversity in front of the camera—for example, the first woman cast as Dr. Who

Enrollment priority to Newhouse and other communication majors.

This course has an associated course fee. See the London Course Fees page for more information.

Department: Television Radio & Film

Location: London

Semester: Spring

Credits: 3