Monday, 4 May 2009

Explain how broadcasting in a deregulated Britain offers more or less choice depending on you P.O.V

Deregulation britain has had a huge impact on the amount of "choice" we as an audience get when consuming T.V today. The two regulations the government specifically focused on were editorial and economic regulation, which is basically the content shown on channels, as well as the quantity of channels there can actually be.
It could be argued that the deregulation offers more choice, particularly for mass audiences. The intentions of the government was to create more channels, which of course means more programming for people to view. As well as this the BBC has endless accessibility and not just on T.V. BBC Radio supplies 5 major national stations, all having their own specific purposes, ranging from music, current affairs and sports. Furthermore the supply of BBC World Service means its accessible all the time, and its versatility provides plenty of choice for all audiences. It's clear that there is no shortage in quantity for audiences to choose from, and these services are accessible at any point during the day.
The increase of competition for financial success has increased the motivational drive of the broadcasters, however as their intentions are purely of commercial interest it does not necessarily mean the quality of the channels improve. It particularly impacts the niche channels, who lack the funds to compete with the wealthier channels, and therefore these are going out of business. In turn this does not please the large percentage of alternative audiences who were dedicated to these smaller channels.
I myself do believe the there has been a decrease in quality and taste in these broadcasters because of deregulation. One defining example is the Brand & Ross incident on Radio Two. The prank calls were heard by around 40,000 people, and this is not what these people should have to put up with. The Brand/Ross incident is completley irrelevant and does not interest me at all. The BBC's purpose is to be the broadcaster for the people (hence why we pay for it) and this incident is another example of how the BBC fails to be this any more. I also believe the programming itself is lacking in decency. Soaps like Eastenders, that form themselves on extremist reality situations. Themes such as paedophilia and domestic violence for a faimly viewing programme are completely uneccessary and unsuitable, and something that I personally do not find wrong. Programmes like this almost make a parody of these serious issues.
Another now useless entity is channel 5. The Broadcasting Act in 1990 was how this channel was made, and I myself fail to see its purpose. Most of it's programming consists of old films and poor over-dramatic documentaries. It's audience share percentages speak for itself, reaching only 4.6 percent in 2008. It does not supply any choice, it simply broadcasts what other channels already show, so it really has no purpose.
Another concerning factor is the 2012 switchover, meaning all terrestrial signals shall be gone and replaced by digital signals only. This means that every owner of a T.V in the country must purchase new technology in order to receive these, and this financially is an issue for poorer people. So again there is less variety for these people when the switchover happens. The final negative impact is advertising. Although BBC do not run adverstisments they are still under pressure to compete against the other big channels, which should not be the case as this undermines what the BBC stand for. Its apparent now that BBC are more interested now in their financial gains rather than the satisfaction of its consumers, and for that reason and the stated above i do believe that a deregulated britain has created less choice for us as an audience

1 comment:

  1. Good try George, you explore some of the issues around deregulation but where you fall down somewhat is that you lack the breadth of understanding which wider reading would give you. Read everything I give you and check out the media section of the Guardian website, putting 'deregulation' or 'broadcasting act' or even just 'broadcasting', 'television', 'BBC' into the search facility and see how many articles come up!

    You also start out writing in depth but towards the end your arguments seem rushed, which is a pity as these are perhaps the more interesting arguments! Try to keep your writing formal even when expressing opinions and try not to BE too opinionated - remember your aim is to show the debate from all angles, taking different points of view into account as thoroughly as your own.

    Finally, please note: deregulation also concerned advertising, a key factor when considering funding and competition in the current broadcasting climate.