During the worst of the crisis, the fortunes of the network seemed inextricable from those of the nation itself. Its coverage of D-Day, for instance, presented a challenge as daunting, in radio terms, as the invasion was in military terms. By the final year of the conflict, the BBC was the medium by which Britons came to understand the war. Massive growth in the news staff and structural changes to the network were instrumental in this transformation. From just two reporters before the war to the 19 who covered the D-Day landing, to the new recording technology, including portable disc recorders, the BBC invested heavily in the infrastructure of news.
Under A. In the pre-war BBC, it was an article of faith that news announcers should all sound the same and remain anonymous.
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But anxiety over the risk of enemy impersonators taking over the airwaves led to news announces identifying themselves … This identification allowed for greater intimacy between listener and the announcer although it was of course true that they all sounded the same p. O'Neill B.
Popova E. Radioveshchaniye v Rossii v godu. Sostoyaniye, tendentsii i perspektivy razvitiya. Industrial Report].
Three-D Issue Radio Studies Network update – MeCCSA
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Sukhareva V. A eds. Ili iskusstvo massovoy kulinarii [ What is Format? Or the Art of Mass Cooking]. Theodosiadou S. Vartanova E. Wahl-Jorgensen K. How the BBC attempted and failed to change the paradigm. Hilmes, 3.
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There is a clearly a problem with this historical account of an increasingly transnational form of radio. What was the route from Americanised, anchored news and comment to a very much more British form of current affairs? The answer lies in that inconvenient truth that history is not linear, not a one-way street. Sometimes innovation can produce a reaction which reaffirms traditional values. Analysis The launch of Analysis, over forty years ago, was full of deeper significance for those who made it and the BBC itself. This was a time of considerable uncertainty about BBC radio.
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There was general feeling that standards were dropping and traditional Reithian ideas were being rejected as BBC radio tried to provide for audiences in the age of television Hendy, Enter Analysis. This was a single subject current affairs programme that would be based on rigorous research and would deal with difficult ideas about social issues. Whitby, So this was proof, if it was needed, that the BBC could still pro- duce challenging and serious programmes. The first Analysis was broadcast on a significant day for music fans.
What followed in- cluded a rather academic summary of an American Brookings Institute report on the British economy and then contributions from a Harvard professor and an Oxford economist, a Swiss banker, the Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, and two MPs.
There was no music or any sound oth- er than the voices of the participants.
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In subsequent editions of the programme there were typically 30 a year both national and international topics were covered and occasionally the for- mat of the programme changed when there was a long inter- view with one person. An intriguing aspect of Analysis in the s was an im- plied critique of journalism in the approach to researching and producing programmes. If there was a House of Lords report we did actually read the thing from beginning to end. The use of the BBC reporter, so widespread in news and current affairs today, was seen as a second rate or derivative approach to current affairs.
Its focus was on ideas rather than on policies and that unique approach has continued to this day. Once a week for most of the year, Analysis continues its thoughtful and intellectual approach to current affairs and the challenges that this now presents will be the subject of the final part of this chapter. There is however, another dimension to the Analysis story and that is its intervention in the public sphere. Or to put it differently the way Analysis helped in the formation and articulation of new political ideas. The first instance of this was at the birth of what we now know as Thatcherism in the mid- s.
The way this materialized was in the choice of subjects cov- ered, the choice of presenters and contributors. There were thirty editions of the programme devoted to Cold War themes between and Similarly, the vociferously anti-trade union economist, Peter Op- penheimer presented editions of Analysis on the economy often using these to show how British trade unions were responsible for high inflation rates, industrial backwardness, lack of invest- ment and slow growth.
Mary Goldring, who became the main presenter of the programme from to , was an outspoken critic of social security payments and their potential to undermine the work ethic. In this outspoken and even provocative critique she used Analysis to express another central plank of Thatcherism. Perhaps a more persuasive argument is that radio current affairs should focus its attention on new ideas and ideologies as these appear even if that means some sacrifice of impartiality.
So for example, in the early s ideas began to circu- late on the political left that came to be known as the Third Way. These were social democratic views and attempted to move be- yond the traditional ideas of left and right. The details of Third Way politics need not concern us here but what was very significant was the way they were thoroughly aired on Analysis. Anthony Giddens, the prominent British sociologist and Third Way thinker was a con- tributor to two editions of the programme and, most significantly, Geoff Mulgan, another key Third Way advocate, was the present- er of four and contributed to two others.
This has included some controversial ideas about the value of traditional communities and the dangers of immigration. Although it is much too early to see if Analysis is providing an ideological space for these new ideas and their advo- cates there has been at least one edition of the programme which featured some of the Blue Labour thinkers and was devoted to the new movement. It would appear that at the risk of losing its impartiality, there are times when Analysis has become the platform for new political ideas whether they are on the left or right.
File on Four Although this chapter is mainly concerned with Analysis, that programme has a distinguished stable-mate in the Manches- ter-produced single subject current affairs programme, File on Four. This programme was the idea of the former Analysis producer, Michael Green, who was its first producer in File on Four was also made distinctive from Analysis by its focus on policy and its implementation, rather than ideas and ideologies.
Within a year of being launched, File on Four had settled into a format that remains largely unchanged to this day. In addition to the journalistic method, the modus operandi of production has also hardly changed in over thirty years.
The programme itself, with its very distinctive theme music, is pre- senter-led by a reporter who has spent usually three or four weeks in the field accompanied by a producer. Voices of a wide variety of people are recorded including the usual policy-mak- ers and experts but also people who had experience of policies; the harassed mums in hospital waiting rooms; the prisoners, police officers, school-teachers and nurses so conspicuously missing from Analysis. It is possible to detect here a commit- ment to the voices of the powerless that can give File on Four a left-wing feel compared to the more right-leaning Analysis.
Every Monday morning there is a run-through of the first version of the programme with the Editor present. In BBC radio a pro- gramme Editor is in effect the manager of that programme and responsible for weekly output. The final version of the programme is then recorded and edited in the afternoon.
At times in its distinguished history, File on Four has had the funds to address international stories, including very early reporting of the development of AIDS in Africa. In the s other international subjects included food aid in Bangladesh, child labour in the US and assassination in Guatemala.
It is notable that even in the international stories the focus of attention remained on the victims of events and policies. As a result, law and order including prisons , the National Health Service, education and other parts of the welfare get particu- lar attention. They describe a Kafkaesque nightmare where doors are shut, telephone calls and emails unanswered, even court orders are ignored. Meanwhile, vulnerable children are treated as pawns as social workers move them from one place to another. She went on to specialize in child abuse stories and began working for File on Four in the early s under the editorship of Helen Boaden currently Director, BBC News.