Newspapers, TV and RadioCategory: Land + People
Fleet Street. “Quality” and “Popular” Newspapers
Fleet Street in London is the home of most national daily and Sunday newspapers. People often say “Fleet Street” to mean “the press”.
British newspapers can be divided into two groups: quality and popular. Quality newspapers are more serious and cover home and foreign news while popular newspapers like shocking, personal stories. These two groups of papers can be distinguished easily because the quality newspapers are twice the size of the popular newspapers.
The quality daily papers are the “Times”, the “Guardian”, the “Daily Telegraph” and the “Financial Times”. The “Times”, founded in 1785 is considered to be the most authoritative newspaper voice in the country and is said to be the paper of the Establishment. The “Guardian” appeals to well-educated readers interested in intellectual and social affairs. The “Daily Telegraph” is bought by educated upper- middle and middle-class readers. The “Financial Times”, printed on pink paper, is read by businessmen.
The “popular” press consists of the “Daily Mail”, the “Daily Express”, the “Daily Star” and the “Daily Mirror”. In all newspapers there is a desperate fight to maintain or improve their circulations but it is worst among the “popular” papers whose main weapons are sex, scandal and sport.
Apart from London-based papers, there are many local newspapers. Most of these are evening papers (there is only one London evening paper) and many appear weekly.
TV and Radio
BBC and IBA. University of the Air. ‘Top of the Pops’
Broadcasting in the United Kingdom is controlled by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). The BBC receives its income from the government, but the private companies controlled by the IBA earn money from advertising.
National radio is controlled by the BBC, and listeners can choose between four stations. Radio 1 is a pop-music station with news and magazine-style programmes. Radio 2 plays light music and reports on sport. Radio 3 plays classical music, and Radio 4 has news programmes, drama and general interest programmes. There are many local stations, some private and some run by the BBC. Their programmes consist mainly of music and local news.
The BBC has two TV channels. BBC 2 has more serious programmes and news features. There is a break for advertisements about every 15—20 minutes. The IBA is responsible for looking after the regional independent TV companies who broadcast their own programmes and those they have bought from other regions. The most recent independent channel is Channel 4, and it has more specialized programmes than the main channels. In general, people think the programmes offered on British television are of a very high standard. Some people, however, are becoming worried about the amount of violence on TV, and the effect this may have on young people.
TV and radio are also two of the main teaching channels used by - the Open University. This ‘university of the air’ allows many thousands of students to study at home for degrees they never would have obtained in the main educational system. They also have to do without ( sleep as most of their programmes are broadcast early in the morn- i ing or late at night.
Top of the Pops’ is a programme that has been shown every week on BBC TV for many years. Each week computers in a number of re- ^ cord-shops throughout the United Kingdom show how many copies of i a record have been sold that week. The new chart, issued each Tuesday; evening, shows which singles have sold the most copies during the previous week. With this information, the show’s producers decide which songs will be played. Usually it will be those moving up the charts, or the new releases which the disc jockeys (usually called DJs) think will be ‘hits’. Of course, each week the show finishes with the number one single. Bands either appear to live in the studio, or in a video recording made especially to sell the record. These videos have become so important in the last few years that they can help to make a record a hit.