Chapter

Occupying Powers

Dennis Potter

in Television Policy

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780748617173
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748617173.003.0017
Occupying Powers

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In this lecture, the author, a distinguished and controversial television dramatist whose play Brimstone and Treacle was banned by the BBC, argues that the BBC is currently under attack and ‘driven on to the back foot’ by an ideologically motivated and malicious government, aided and abetted by supine managers at the BBC who have responded by taking ‘several more steps backward’. The creative culture of the BBC is being replaced by ‘management culture’, articulated via a ‘dogma-driven rhetoric’. Television which used to offer a ‘window on the world’ has been ‘ripped apart’ and reassembled by politicians and cost accountants who now decide ‘what we can and cannot see on our screens’. The author argues that we must build defences to protect broadcasting and democracy from the occupying powers of business, bureaucratic management and politicians. There must be regulation to control the growing concentration of ownership and the expansion of cross-media ownership. The author concludes by announcing his intention to apply for the post of Chairman of the Governors of the British Broadcasting Corporation.

Keywords: BBC; management culture; broadcasting; democracy; regulation; ownership; cross-media; television

Chapter.  3649 words. 

Subjects: Television

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