The Mass Media Of Great Britain


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A look at the mass media of Great Britain.

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  • Traditionally newspapers could be split into serious-minded newspapers, usually referred to as broadsheets due to their large size, and sometimes collectively as the quality press, and less serious newspapers, known for their small size as tabloids, and collectively as the popular press. However, due to considerations of convenience of reading, for example in cafés and on trains, The Independent and The Times both switched to a compact format, not much bigger than that used by tabloids. The Guardian switched in September 2005 to what it describes as a Berliner format, slightly larger than a compact. Its stablemate The Observer has since followed suit. Other Sunday broadsheets have tended to keep their larger size, as the amount of content and number of sections they provide would, in tabloid form, be too thick, heavy and cumbersome. All major UK newspapers now have a free online version, though the four Murdoch titles plan to introduce charges for content.As well as individual newspapers there are newspapers which collect news from each of the major newspapers and combine it into one. In the UK there is the The Weekend City Press Review (WCPR) which summarizes business and financial news from 13 papers and distributes the paper electronically on a subscription basis
  • In a rapidly-changing digital world, British media providers are looking at new ways of reaching audiences via computers and personal multimedia devices.
  • variety of publications reflects the full spectrum of political opinion
  • Recent UK governments have attempted to bolster national media against competition from overseas predators. At the same time, it has been accepted that the biggest media are not national but global, and governed primarily by the market. Younger audiences are turning away from ‘big’ media and prefer niche digital services. The future of the BBC as a publicly funded, public service is in doubt. It is an unanswered question whether the BBC would continue as a publicly-funded national body or would become a commercial media entity from 2016. There is a lively debate about the quality and role of journalism and the media ‘dumbing down’ to try reduce costs and offer new ‘lite’ content
  • Power without Responsibility: Press and Broadcasting in Britain: byJames Curran, Jean Seaton;Routledge
  • The Mass Media Of Great Britain

    1. 1. The Mass Media Landscape of Great Britain <br />Thursday, November 5, 2009<br />
    2. 2. Introduction<br />Who are we?<br />
    3. 3. Where is Great Britain?<br />
    4. 4. Quick Overview<br />Full name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland<br />Population: 61 million (UN, 2008)<br />Capital: London<br />Area: 242,514 sq km (93,638 sq miles)<br />Major language: English<br />Major religion: Christianity<br />Life expectancy: 77 years (men), 82 years (women) (UN)<br />Monetary unit: 1 pound sterling = 100 pence<br />Main exports: Manufactured goods, chemicals, foodstuffs<br />GNI per capita: US $42,740 (World Bank, 2007)<br />Internet domain: .uk<br />International dialing code: +44<br />More media specific stats to come up later<br />
    5. 5. History:<br />Transition from major world imperialist power at the start of the century to a 2nd degree power of considerable economic and military strength<br />
    6. 6. Politics<br />Constitutional Monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II, as the symbolic head of state and Gordon Brown, as the Prime Minister<br />
    7. 7. British Culture<br />Ethnically diverse and multicultural; prominent exporter of youth culture; rich literary and music heritage<br />Welsh flag<br />
    8. 8. British Popular Culture<br />
    9. 9. British Mass Media:<br />Large, complex, diverse, mature <br />Open in structure, participants from many countries active in almost all aspects<br />British media largely a single entity but distinctive regional dimensions exist too<br />
    10. 10. The British Print Media<br /><ul><li>99% of the adult (male and female) population is literate (2008, CIA WFB)
    11. 11. The British press is amongst the largest and oldest in the world</li></li></ul><li>British Newspapers<br /><ul><li>Earliest known newspaper of British origin: The Oxford Gazette, 1665
    12. 12. 3 sectors: Broadsheets (Quality Press), Middle Market and Red-Top Tabloids (Popular Press)
    13. 13. Formats: Broadsheet, Berliner & Compact
    14. 14. Total sales: 11.25 m for weekly newspapers & 12 m for Sunday titles
    15. 15. Regional and local newspapers comprise 98% of the total circulation
    16. 16. Ownership concentrated amongst 8 major media conglomerates
    17. 17. Newspaper sales generally on the decline since past 40 years</li></li></ul><li>
    18. 18.
    19. 19.
    20. 20. British Magazines<br />Large and expanding sector<br />8,800-10,000 titles covering most topics<br />Two-third of are ‘business and professional’ titles, the rest are ‘consumer’ magazines<br />Famous examples include Private Eye, Hello!, The Spectator, the Radio Times and NME<br />
    21. 21. According to the National Readership Survey, these are the most-read magazines in the UK. This shows readership, and not sales, and these figures represent the twelve months to June 2009.<br />
    22. 22. Publishing/Book Industry<br />Oldest yet most dynamic and considerably influential mass media in the UK<br />Origins: William Caxton,1476, owner of earliest known British mechanical press<br />Two kinds of markets : mass and literary<br />Devise distinction between the two is the centre of an ideological debate about the role of books<br />Industry has survived and strengthened despite gloomy predictions on the arrival of every subsequent new mass media<br />British publishing houses: Long, illustrious history, 100s in total number, publishing approx. 100,000 books per year<br />
    23. 23.
    24. 24.
    25. 25. Electronic Media In The UK<br />The UK has a strong tradition of public-service broadcasting and an international reputation for creative programme-making<br />Wide reach:<br /><ul><li>60 m households (or 70% of all UK homes) have multichannel TV sets
    26. 26. 40.2 m Internet users</li></li></ul><li>British Television<br /><ul><li>Commercial TV begun in the UK in 1955, with thelaunchof IPTV
    27. 27. Today, out of a total of 60 m TV sets, 40.8 m households (68%) have digitally linked TV sets
    28. 28. Cable: 3.5 m households (Virgin Media Subscribers)
    29. 29. Satellite : 8.3 m households (Sky Subscribers)
    30. 30. Digital Terrestrial Television (DDT) : 9.6 m households (Free view services)
    31. 31. 940 television broadcasts stations; 400 different TV channels on offer – audience fragmentation hence a common feature</li></li></ul><li>The Switch to Digital<br /><ul><li>Once dominant Terrestrial TVV now face strong competition from digital satellite, cable and DDT
    32. 32. Britain's media regulator, Ofcom, has set a timetable for a switchover from analogue to digital TV broadcasting, hoping to completely turn off the analogue TV signal by 2012.</li></li></ul><li>Major British TV Channels: BBC<br />Broadcasting dominated by a strong public service broadcaster which is supported by a universal compulsory television license free <br />BBC operates 14 different television channels (including 8 digital channels and 6 nation-wide channels), an interactive TV set-up and a datacast operation (Ceefax) <br />In all, attracts about a third of the total TV audience.<br />
    33. 33. Major British TV Channels: ITV<br />ITV stand for “Independent TV’<br />Split into three commercial television national stations – Channel 3 (digital), Channel 4 (analogue), and Channel 5 (digital)<br />
    34. 34. Cable, Satellite and DTV in the UK<br />Cable TV:<br />Cable companies usually provide both television and telephone services. <br />Few cable-specific stations - around 5 or 6 outside London, and a further 10 or so London-specific channels. <br />Biggest player: Virgin Media, 3.5 m subscribers, 2nd largest pay TV service provider<br />Digital Satellite TV<br />Launched: October 1998, on a platform provided by Sky Digital, part of B Sky B. <br />Pricing: maximum of £34.99 a month<br />Biggest player: British Sky Broadcasting, 8.3 million subscribers, Largest pay TV service provider, offers in access of 25 channels of its own<br />More than a third of the BSkyB equity is owned by News Corporation<br />
    35. 35. …continued…Cable, Satellite and DTV in the UK<br />Digital Terrestrial TV:<br />Launched: November 1998, as “On Digital” on a part free, part subscription model<br />Re-launched in 2002 after financial crisis as “Freeview” which is now available for a one-time subscription fee of £90 <br />Freeview is consortium of Castle Communications and BBC, offers 30 free channels<br />
    36. 36. Nature of Popular British TV Content<br />Soaps: <br />Home-grown soap operas have long topped the TV ratings, two of the most popular British soaps are: <br />Eastenders : Depicts the ups and downs of life in east London&apos;s Albert Square, produced by BBC, <br />Coronation Street: Depicts northern-English working-class life, produced by ITV<br />
    37. 37. …Continued…Nature of Popular British TV Content<br />Reality TV<br />Programmes which catapult ordinary people into the public eye are enjoying a wave of popularity, popular reality TV shows include:<br />Britain&apos;s Got Talent, Big Brother, Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor<br />
    38. 38. British Radio<br />Broadcasted on AM, FM & digital platform, divided into public sector and commercial radio<br />Public Sector Radio: <br />BBC: operates more than 40 stations that comprise 50% of all radio listening in the UK<br />Channels include: 5 national radio stations; 5 digital-only stations; the BBC World Service; regional stations in Scotland, Wales, Northern and 30 other local stations<br />
    39. 39. British Radio…Continued…<br />Commercial Radio: <br />Started in 1970s, now includes over 300 private stations<br />3 national services - (Classic FM, Virgin Radio and Talk Sport), around 10 &apos;regional&apos; services (generally covering three major cities) and 170 local services<br />There are also over 100 temporary radio stations per year that are used for either special events (the Glastonbury Festival), football clubs (Radio Latics) or monthly stations (either used by licence-wannabies or student stations)<br />
    40. 40. New Media: Internet in the UK<br />The Daily Telegraph was the first newspaper to go ‘online’ in 1994, today all significant media have online presences<br />Big names: <br />Guardian Unlimited, 1 million unique users <br />BBC Online, 10 million unique users<br />13.9 million UK households (57%) have internet access, of which 69% are broadband. <br />Government policy intends that every home in the UK will have access to online services by 2010.<br />
    41. 41. Media Regulation in the UK<br />Voluntary and statutory accountability systems co-exist. <br />Ofcom, a media regulatory body, oversees commercial media<br />BBC is jointly publically funded but editorially impartial and self-regulating<br />More than 140 pieces of legislation have direct relevance to the media; litigation is a favored method of bringing the media to account. <br />Privacy not recognized as such in UK law; however, cases are brought for breaches of confidentiality. <br />
    42. 42. Media Freedom in the UK<br />Freedom of expression is protected under:<br />1998 Human Rights Act which enacted into UK law the European Convention on Human Rights, <br />2005 Freedom of Information Act, the 1998 Act also introduced privacy as a statutory right.<br />British media considered free and able to report on all aspects of British life<br />External ‘watchdog’ bodies seeking to explore media issues include:<br />MediaWise Trust (ethics); Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom; Campaign for Freedom of Information; the Runnymede Trust (diversity), and the London International Research Exchange.<br />
    43. 43. Future Trends/Recommendations<br />National vs. Global Media?<br />Public vs. Commercial Media?<br />Serious vs. Tabloid Media?<br />New vs. Old Media?<br />
    44. 44. Webliography:<br />European Journalism Centre,<br />Media UK,<br />CIA World Fact Book,<br />The Broadcasters&apos; Audience Research Board,<br />National Readership Survey,<br />Wikipedia Enclyopedia,<br />BBC News Online,<br />Guardian Unlimited Online,<br />And a host of other websites, which we can’t possibly list here! <br />
    45. 45. Bibliography:<br />