This book traces the history of television journalism in Britain from its austere roots in the BBC's post-war monopoly to the present-day plethora of 24 hour channels and celebrity presenters. It asks why a medium whose thirst for pictures, personalities and drama makes it, some believe, intrinsically unsuitable for serious journalism should remain in the internet age the most influential purveyor of news.
Barnett compares the two very different trajectories of television journalism in Britain and the US, arguing that from the outset a rigorous statutory and regulatory framework rooted in a belief about the democratic value of the medium created and sustained a culture of serious, responsible, accurate and interrogative journalism in British television. The book's overarching thesis is that, despite a very different set of historical, regulatory and institutional practices, there is a very real danger that Britain is now heading down the same road as America.
Steven Barnett is Professor of Communications at the University of Westminster who has specialized in media policy and politics for more than 20 years.
Foreword Introduction: The Argument 1 Laying the Foundations: Policies, practices and a public monopoly 2 Competition and Commercialism: The early days 3 Competition, Commercialism and the 'Golden Age' 4 Real Lives v Death on the Rock: Journalism, terrorism and accountability 5 The Propaganda Model and the 1990 Broadcasting Act 6 Competition and Commercialism in the 21st Century 7 Tabloidisation 8 The BBC, the Aftermath of Hutton and the Future 9 Television Journalism, the Market and the Future 10 24-hour News Channels and the 'New' Television Journalism 11 Television Journalism and Impartiality 12 Conclusions