quality television

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See also cultural capital; narrowcast codes; compare dumbing down; fiction values; story model; tabloidization; taste.

1. For television academics in the UK, a notion associated with the Reithian values of public service broadcasting delivering impartial news reporting and educational documentaries or traditional high-cultural forms like theatre, art, and literature targeting middle-class audiences: see also Reithianism.

2. Negatively, an oxymoron, particularly in comparison to popular commercial television. Robert J. Thompson, an American media theorist (b.1959) claimed that quality TV is best defined by what it is not: it is not standard television content.

3. For cultural critics, an evaluative judgement focusing on textual features and relating a programme's perceived pedigree, prestige, and cultural influence to other high culture forms. Such judgements vary over time and across cultures.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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