Magazine
Latest Issue

Smallscreen

The recent furore over Channel 4's child-rearing documentary series Bringing Up Baby illustrates the danger of relying too much on flashy formats

By Christopher Hird   November 2007

If you make documentaries for the main terrestrial television channels, one of the greatest challenges is getting the balance right between entertainment and information. Britain’s broadcasting system places some public service obligations on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Five, but television is also a mass medium and, quite apart from the fact that there is no point in making programmes which no one watches, most of these channels would go out of business if they didn’t get decent viewing figures. As one channel controller once put it, this process is “an endless navigation between the popular and the important,…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to letters@prospect-magazine.co.uk

More From Prospect