The Great Debate UK
- Brian Cathcart is professor of journalism at Kingston University and was specialist adviser to the Select Committee inquiry. The opinions expressed are his own.-
One problem with the current debate about the BBC is that it is being held on too low a level, so the result is likely to be needless petty miseries.
Let us aim a bit higher.
So far as journalism is concerned, the licence fee turns out to be the best funding model around. Nothing even compares in the modern era.
Print journalism is in a mess because people don’t want to pay for newspapers in the traditional way and advertisers are migrating to the Internet.
Avatar’s $1 billion in ticket sales may garner all the headlines for News Corp’s Fox, which released the sci-fi spectacle. But the studio’s other holiday film, “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel”, may be more valuable to shareholders in Rupert Murdoch’s media group over the long run.
While Avatar packed them in, the latest offering from the world’s most popular singing rodent trio surpassed the quarter-billion dollar mark despite poor reviews and heavy competition. Indeed the Chipmunks demonstrate the importance of franchise value to the movie business.
-Steven Barnett is professor of communications at the University of Westminster and has written extensively about the Sky deal and cricket for the Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack. The opinions expressed are his own.-
David Davies’ review panel on UK sport’s “crown jewels” – the list of sporting events which have to be reserved for free-to-air television – has proposed adding significantly to the existing list of 10 events.
from The Great Debate:
Four days before Barack Obama was sworn into office, a prominent radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, told his conservative listeners that a major American publication had asked him to write 400 words on his hopes for the Obama presidency.
- Steven Barnett is professor of communications at the University of Westminster, and a writer and commentator on broadcasting issues. He is finishing writing a book “Just Wires and Lights? The Rise and Fall of Television Journalism” that will published by Sage in 2010. The opinions expressed are his own. -
I was in the audience for Murdoch senior’s MacTaggart lecture 20 years ago, and was shocked –- as were many others –- by the ignorance and shallowness of his analysis. It wasn’t just the blatant self-interest of promoting his newly launched Sky channels; it was the sheer incomprehension of British television’s achievements in broadcast journalism compared to its manifest failure in the United States. Murdoch senior pretended it was the other way round, a strange distortion of the empirical evidence.
from The Great Debate:
There is nothing like the threat of a hanging to concentrate the mind.
The newspaper industry is in a collective panic over its future. The debate centers on the thorny issue of how publishers might find some way, any way, to make online readers to pay for what they read.
The fear is that the newspaper business model has suffered a mortal wound from the collapse of advertising that once funded it, and which has only accelerated in the current economic environment. Or perhaps it's the realization that younger generations reared on digital media will never settle down to buy print.