Is base, which in turn creates opportunities

Is Public Service
Broadcasting still relevant in 2017?




Public broadcasting is radio, television and other
electronic media outlets, which are all trying to do the same job, which is
entertain the viewers. In majority of the world funding comes from the government
through annual fees. In this essay I will be discussing whether public
servicing broadcasting (PSB) is still relevant in 2017? I will be giving the
positives and negative views to come to a reasonable conclusion in which PSB is
relevant. Public broadcasting comes in two main ways, locally and nationally
this can depend on the region and station you are tuned into.. In many
countries, public broadcasting is operated by a single organization but on the
other hand there are many public broadcasting in other countries, which cater
to lots of different audiences and languages. Commercial broadcasting (private
broadcasting) is the broadcasting of television programs and radio programming
by privately owned corporate media, as opposed to state sponsorship, which are
rivalling public broadcasters.

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One of the reasons, which PSB is still relevant, is because public
broadcasters have a huge national responsibility to provide a good public
service, rather than a more narrowed approach of commercial broadcasters. The
output and outcomes of public broadcasters varies from what county they are in
but they all required to include news, entertainment and education. There are
many public broadcasters around the world, however the main public broadcaster
in the UK is the BBC. The BBC provides a non-partisan information base, which
in turn creates opportunities for political, cultural and local engagement.


The BBC commits resources to producing news, entertainment
and education. This is because they have to follow certain rules to be a public
broadcaster.  As mentioned before the BBC
get funded by the TV licence this means they have been able to use the latest
technology to there advantage. This able them to be more advanced then the
other broadcasters on the television. They have been able to make numerous
radio channels, have lots of different television channels which cater for
different audiences and also having a on demand service for people to catch up
or re-watch there favourite shows anytime anywhere. Most licensincing
regulations require having it the primary responsibility is to make profit by
maximising audiences and ratings.


Secondly “public good” rationale, which has
implicitly defined public broadcasting for nearly a century. The declining
numbers of journalists and newspapers is comparable in countries with and without
strong public broadcasters the business model is not threatened by public
broadcasting, but by its own dynamic. However rather than making public
broadcasting irrelevant, this context makes it arguably more important than
ever. Without public broadcasters doing this a lot more people will be
unemployed and not as much efficient and effective news will be being produced.
Looking at a survey taken which people chose for the most likely to turn to if
you want impartial news coverage we see the BBC with more then half of the
votes (53%) and the next closest competitor ITV with only 11% this shows us
that the general public the people watching the news watch the BBC news this
may be for many of reasons, but in my opinion I feel like the BBC has the
highest as the public feel that is it the most reliable source to get its news
from.  (The Conversation, 2017)


Finally in reference to previous paragraph public
broadcasters have more trust then commercial broadcasters, this is because
public broadcasters need to have a wide reach to provide shared resources
funded by the general public and also have to be available to them. Public
broadcasters are very unique in the fact they can have both the capacity and
the authority to act as an institution when the commercial media is less likely
to fulfil this role.


This links back to the public broadcaster to have much
higher level of the public trust. The House of Lords inquiry into the BBC’s
licence fee is focusing on the public purpose. Its capacity to sustain
citizenship and civil society to promote educate and learn. This represent the
full range of regions, bring the UK to the world and back and help deliver the
benefit for emerging technologies. Addressing all of these topics helps us to
explain why public broadcasting is still relevant in 2017. Charlotte Higgins
has argued that the UK without the BBC would “no longer be Britain as we
know it”. This also applies for the ABC in Australia. Public broadcasters
continue to have a unique role of challenging, informing and entertaining a
citizenry that is defined by national boundaries. (, 2017)


However onto the negatives of PSB, there are a few to
discuss. Firstly young people are starting to abandon public service channels
according to Ofcom reports and programmes, this is according to Ofcom reports.
In 2001 it says, people between 16 and 24 who are mainly adolescents.  The BBC for example has really good channels
for young children, (CBBC and Cbeebies). However around when they go to
secondary school they develop new interests and fall out of the old ones, which
they use to have. Majority the teenagers turn to channels like MTV and channel
4 with teen drama, which they can relate to. Ian Parkinson, a senior executive
at Radio 1. ‘The average age of BBC1 and BBC2 watchers is now 53 and 54
respectively the highest of the five main TV channels’. (The Economist, 2017) (Bromley,


Another example of young people starting to abandon public
service channels is because Ofcom also says less educated viewers are turning
away to more serious material, this all links back to them being able to relate
to the television which they are watching. In result of this the BBC executive
says ‘we are over serving white middle class 55 year olds.’ This statement
indicates that the BBC is worried with the people, which are tuning into their
channel and are looking to broaden their audience. In 2002, for example,
realising that it was hardly reaching young black people, it launched a digital
radio station called 1Xtra, modelled on pirate radio.


Some people say the BBC is struggling to draw the young
viewers in due to the fact the channel doesn’t take enough risks like how
channel 4 and MTV take. Comparing BBC to channel 4, we see channel 4 showing
much more programmes aimed at a younger audience for example channel 4 aired
‘The Inbetweeners’ which was aimed at people attending education to, the show
had lot of real life situation which majority of teenagers can relate to.

Kevin Lygo, its director of television, says that whereas
Channel 4 is rebellious and questioning (which fit the channels remit), many
BBC television programmes are “full of integrity and truthfulness”.  Many of the programmes, which are currently
air on the BBC, are aimed more at the older audience. For example Doctor who
and Sherlock. (The Economist, 2017)


Another negative aspect about PSB is Commercial broadcasting
now exists in most of the countries around the world are becoming more and more
competitive. With the commercial broadcasters becoming more competitive this
means the number of people watching public broadcasters is declining
substantially during the latter part of the 20th century. This means
public service broadcasting must do something significantly if they are to
survive in the television industry.


All commercial broadcasters are funded by TV adverts.
Companies buy slots during commercial break looking for. Brands have to pay TV
channels for advertising slots at different times of the day, plus cost of a TV
ad differs depending what time it comes on A 30-second ad during ITV’s
breakfast schedule between the likes of Good Morning Britain or Lorraine costs
between £3,000 to £4,000 on average. For a daytime slot, ads of the same time
length come in at £3,500 to £4,500, while a peak rate alternative can cost
anything from £10,000 £30,000.


Every channel apart from the BBC runs commercial to make
money. The BBC get there funding through TV licences. A TV Licence is a legal
permission to install or use television receiving equipment to watch or record
television programmes as they are being shown on TV or live on an online TV
service, and to download or watch BBC programmes on demand, including catch up
TV, on BBC Iplayer.  The reason, which
you pay for the TV licence, is to fund the BBC, this is because the BBC is the
only channel, which has no adverts and also can be sued by the general public.
It costs £147 for a colour and £49.50 for a black and white TV Licence. The
other broadcasting channels feel this is unfair and gives the BBC advantage
over the other channels because they do not have to worry about making money
from commercial, this means the BBC is more advanced in certain areas. For
example they have a radio stations, many channels and on demand. Currently the
other broadcasting companies are arguing to get rid of the licence fee. However
watching television is one of the main ways in which most people keep up with
current affairs and also television is also one of the main sources for
entertainment. Public channels are more highly trusted than commercial channels
for the accuracy, reliability, and impartiality of their news coverage.
Watching public service channels and listening to public radio stations are
stereotypically associated with a broad array of public attitudes and behaviour
that underpin democratic politics. (Bromley, 2014)



Overall PSB has numerous good and bad points as you identify
in this essay. However I believe it is slowly becoming more and more irrelevant
as time and technology improves. This is because I feel the BBC and other
broadcasting service that get funded and do not need to show adverts are being
able to upgrade faster, without getting as many views as a broadcaster who has
to show adverts.