The Media in Britain
The Press, Radio, Television and News Agencies
Gutenberg’s 15 th century printing press is one of the most important inventions in history. The first newspaper in Britain appeared in 1513. The longest running British newspaper is The Times. It began in 1785.
Quality Newspapers (Broadsheet) are more credible, contain political, industrial,
financial and cultural news.
Popular Newspapers (Tabloids) are less credible, sensationalism is their main feature.
Sunday papers are often crude and more sensationalist – scandal, crime, and rumors about famous people.
Local Papers can be found all over Britain.
Periodicals (Magazines). The Economist is the most influential periodical.
Radio Times and TV Times previews upcoming programmes.
Ownership of the Press - More than 60% of the national newspapers are owned by two major companies. Trinity Mirror is owned by Robert Maxwell, News International is owned by Rupert Murdoch.
Independent newspapers find it difficult to survive.
Radio and TV
The British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was founded in 1922 and chartered in 1927. The BBC includes both radio and television stations and is financed by payments from everyone who owns a TV, £139.50 per year.
The most prominent stations are the national networks operated by the BBC.
- BBC Radio 1 broadcasts mostly current pop music output on FM and digital radio, with live music throughout the year
- BBC Radio 2 is the United Kingdom's most listened-to radio station, featuring presenters such as Chris Evans and Terry Wogan, and playing popular music from the last five decades as well as special interest programmes in the evening
- BBC Radio 3 is a classical music station, broadcasting high-quality concerts and performances. At night, it transmits a wide range of jazz and world music
- BBC Radio 4 is a current affairs and speech station, with news, debate and radio drama. It broadcasts the daily radio soap The Archers, as well as flagship news programme Today
- BBC Radio 5 Live broadcasts live news and sports commentary with phone-in debates and studio guests
The introduction of digital radio technology led to the launch of several new BBC stations:
- BBC 1Xtra broadcasts rap, RnB and drum'n'bass
- BBC Radio 4 Extra broadcasts comedy, drama and shows which extend or supplement popular programmes on its sister station, Radio 4, including The Archersspin off Ambridge Extra and archived episodes of Desert Island Discs
- BBC 6 Music transmits predominantly alternative rock, with many live sessions
- BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra is a companion to Five Live for additional events coverage
- BBC Asian Network is aimed at the large South Asian community in the United Kingdom (also available on AM in some areas)
The BBC also provide 40 local radio services, mainly broadcasting a mix of local news and music aimed at an older audience.
Reuters and Press Association Ltd. (PA) are the main agencies in Britain. A news agency provides information to newspapers, magazine, radio and television sources. Reuters - provides financial news. Press Association - produces 150-200 stories on weekdays.
Videos of popular TV programmes
The identity of the British industry, and its relationship with Hollywood, has been the subject of debate. The history of film production in Britain has often been affected by attempts to compete with the American industry.