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Part 4 The British media John Mullen

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1 Part 4 The British media John Mullen

2 4. The British media Slightly less than one-half (44 per cent) of people aged 15 and over in Great Britain read a national daily newspaper in the 12 months to June 2008, compared with 72 per cent in the 12 months to June Sales of paper copies of all the newspapers are regularly declining However, many people now read the news on the Internet – to which 73% of the homes are now connected (in 2010).

3 4-1- The press privately owned and controlled. free to print whatever it likes Limited though by libel law and the requirements of the Official Secrets Act. Rupert Murdoch

4 The basic division, both for the national daily papers and for the national Sunday papers, is that between the popular papers and the quality papers. Unlike the popular press, the quality press relies more heavily on advertising than sales for its commercial success.

5 Popular Tabloids usually have large illustrations, catchy headlines. They carry more sport, celebrity gossip, humour, word play, crime stories, problem pages and scandal. The Sun is famous for its topless photographs. Editorial and news contents is not separated. Quality papers give more in-depth economic and political analysis and deal widely with social and cultural issues. Editorial and news content is generally separated.

6 Moreover, the newspapers readership is often divided up along class lines. Last, there is one more category, the mid-market dailies, which try and have the qualities of both types. The Daily Mail and the Daily Express are mid-market dailies.

7 Popular dailies The leader is The Sun: huge circulation of more than 2.7 million copies a day (in 2010). Then, there is the Daily Mail with 2.0 million copies. Other main tabloids: the Daily Mirror (1,1 million), the Daily Star (0.7 million), and the Daily Express (0.6 million); the last is sometimes considered to be a mid- market daily.




11 Bob Crow Published in The Sun 28 Oct 2010 An article on 15 September reported RMT General Secretary Bob Crow had a union-subsidised home and luxury car. In fact, Mr Crow's home has never been subsidised by the union and he does not own a car, union or otherwise, and champions public transport. We are happy to set the record straight and apologise to Mr Crow.


13 Among the five national daily tabloids, only one is left-wing: The Mirror.


15 All the others are right wing


17 Gossip and sport is important for these papers

18 After a phone tapping scandal in 2011, where journalists were found to have tapped the phones of kidnap victims, soldiers kille din Iraq and of politicians, the News of the World was obliged to close down, after more than 160 years,

19 Quality papers There are three Conservative dailies: The Daily Telegraph (about copies a day in 2010), The Times (441,000) and the Financial Times (336,000). The Guardian (230,000) and The Independent (176,000) are more Left Wing.




23 Sunday papers, The Sunday Times (1 million) The Sunday Mirror (1.8 million), The People (0.83 million), The Observer (0.28 million). There are also the free newspapers, especially Metro, launched in 1999, available in about 10 different towns.

24 And various magazines, which are weekly or monthly.




28 Some newspapers aim at particular ethnic or other groups


30 4-2- Radio and television Radio first developed in the 1930s, with the birth of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to provide a public service in radio : The BBC reached its peak as a national institution during World War II.

31 « The best new music » « Music and entertainment » «Classical, Jazz, World, Arts, Drama» « Intelligent speech » « Live news, live sport » BBC Radio today

32 There is also the BBC World Service, with an audience of about 120 million listeners.

33 There are also many private radio stations, often local.

34 Television

35 Public channels: (BBC1 and BBC2 in particular) which derive most of their money from the television licence fee. There is no advertising at all on the BBC. The principal means of funding the BBC is through the television licence, costing £ per year per household (as of April 2010).

36 Private channels: ITV (Independent Television), Channel 4 (more centred on cultural content) and Channel 5. Main development over the past few years : boom in satellite television.


38 Eastenders (7 to 12 million viewers) Shown continuously since Coronation Street (9 million viewers on average). Shown continuously since 1960!

39 November 2008 One weeks ratings – top ratings from BBC1 1 STRICTLY COME DANCING (SAT 1759) m (BBC) (Dance show) 2 EASTENDERS (MON 2000) 9.94 m (BBC) (soap) 6 ANTIQUES ROADSHOW (SUN 1914) 8.71 m (BBC) 8 SILENT WITNESS (WED 2100) 6.70 m (BBC) (Forensic police show) 10 STEPHEN FRY IN AMERICA (SUN 2059) 6.32 m (BBC) (Comic) 11 MERLIN (SAT 1919) 6.25 m (BBC) (show on Arthurian legends) 12 HAVE I GOT NEWS FOR YOU (FRI 2102) 5.96 m (BBC) (Comic comments on the news) 13 CASUALTY (SAT 2015) 5.76 m (BBC) (Hospital show) 14 HOLBY CITY (TUE 2000) 5.69 m (BBC) (hospital show) 15 TEN O'CLOCK NEWS (TUE 2200) 5.65 m (BBC) (news) 16 THE ROYAL BRITISH LEGION FESTIVAL OF REM (SAT 2105) 5.64 m 17 SPOOKS (MON 2100) 5.59 m (BBC production) (spy programme)

40 1 CORONATION STREET (MON 2029) 10.83m (soap) GB 2 THE X FACTOR (SAT 1919) 10.72m (talent show) GB 8 EMMERDALE (MON 1902) 7.64m (soap) GB 10 ALL STAR FAMILY FORTUNES (SAT 2054) 6.89m GB (Game show) 14 HEARTBEAT (SUN 1959) 5.70m (Police show) GB 15 HARRY HILL'S TV BURP (SAT 1849) 5.58m (Comedy comments on TV shows) 16 THE BILL (WED 2000) 5.57m (police show) 18 TAGGART (MON 2100) 5.26m (Scottish police show) 19 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE (TUE 1929) 4.95m (Sport) 20 MIDSOMER MURDERS (FRI 2102) 4.78m (detective show) GB 21 SHARPE'S PERIL (SUN 2102) 4.55m (Historical fiction) GB 22 NEW YOU'VE BEEN FRAMED! (SAT 1823) 4.47m (Comic home video show) Top TV programmes on ITV 1 – November 2008

41 In the early 1990s, Rupert Murdoch launched British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) : It is a group of 6 channels (Sky Sports, Sky One, Sky Movies), to which you have to subscribe. This network has 10 million customers, and made £870 million profit after tax in 2010.

42 Among its various successes, it has bought the fees for the broadcast of the British football Premier League. Moreover, BskyB has now a quasi- monopoly in satellite television in Britain and has moved into the Internet broadband service. Rupert Murdoch has also developed the pay-per-view.

43 Radio and television broadcasting is supervised by two bodies: The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for public television and radio, and Ofcom for private TV and radio,

44 Ofcom has a statutory duty to further what it considers the interests of citizens and consumers by promoting competition and protecting consumers from what it considers harmful or offensive material. Some of the main areas over which Ofcom presides are licensing, creating codes and policies, addressing complaints and looking into competition.

45 4-3-Current debates on the British media One of the main problems is that of the relationship between the media and political power. The governments are keen on using the media to serve their own purposes, and they have the power to do so.

46 First, they have the power to make appointments to the BBC Boards of Governors and to pack it with government supporters as the Conservatives did under Margaret Thatcher and John Major. Second, governments can also put pressure on the ITC, encouraging it to refuse to renew franchise if a private television company is perceived as having an antigovernment bias.


48 Third, the broadcasting laws allow the Home Secretary ultimate control over all broadcasting content: in the 1980s, the Thatcher governments frequently tried to prevent discussion of sensitive issues. This was quite visible in issues related to Northern Ireland - the interviews of the Irish nationalists were forbidden. A few television programmes were also prohibited.

49 The terms of the BBCs Royal Charter and the Television and Broadcasting Acts place a requirement on the BBC and Ofcom to maintain political impartiality. This in contrast to the press where there is no such requirement. The 1990 Broadcasting Act strengthened this requirement by imposing a new code of impartiality.

50 However, the notion of due impartiality, which means that there can only be objectivity and impartiality within the boundaries of what is generally agreed and acceptable in society, may influence programmes: broadcasters had to describe members of the IRA (Irish Republican Army) as terrorists rather than freedom fighters.

51 The second problem is that of the relationship between the media and business. Until 1979, the government tried to limit the influence of business in the media, for instance in television. Since the 1990 Broadcasting Act, increasing concentration of ownership of radio and television stations

52 The 1996 Broadcasting Act, which allowed cross ownership of press and broadcasting, has mostly benefited huge multinational, multimedia corporations. For instance, News International, whose owner, Rupert Murdoch, is one of the modern press barons, controls five national newspapers (including The Times, The Sun, News of the World), which represent 20% of the market, as well as BSkyB.

53 His critics claim that when Rupert Murdoch was making business with the Chinese authorities, his newspapers never criticised the Chinese regime. In 2003, Murdoch, who is close to George Bush, supported the war against Iraq – so did The Times, The Sun, etc.

54 A third issue : privacy. How free should journalists be to investigate? the papers have increasingly been investigating the private lives of famous people. The Royals have been the prime targets of this search for scandals; several ministers also had to resign after their sexual behaviour was revealed by the press.

55 The British press is self regulating. In 1991, the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) was set up. Its a self- regulating body whose main task is to deal with complaints made by members of the public against newspapers. However, the numerous breaches made in the PCC code of conduct have provoked calls for a privacy law and an end to self- regulation.

56 The Press Complaints commission code of practice cover sthe following subjects: Accuracy Opportunity to reply Privacy Harassment Intrusion into grief or shock

57 Children Children in sex cases Misrepresentation Victims of sexual assault Discrimination Confidential sources Witness payments in criminal trials Payment to criminals


59 The Freedom of Information Act was passed by Tony Blair in 2000 « General right of access » to the public or to journalists to documents produced by public bodies requests from journalists every year..

60 Information released has caused some scandals (about MPs expenses, and about secret British support for an Israeli nuclear bomb programme in 1960) The government has only used its veto once – to withhold cabinet minutes related to the war in Iraq

61 In 2012, journalists asked, under the FOI act, to see copies of letters sent by Prince Charles to different government departments giving his opinion on policy issues. This was refused on the grounds that the publication of the letters might « damage the princes ability to perform his duties when he becomes King ». A court judge then ruled that 27 of the 30 letters could be released, but the Attorney General used his veto and the letters remained secret.

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