What factors led to the provision of Britain's fourth television channel? How did Channel Four change public service broadcasting?

Essay by NitsyUniversity, Bachelor'sD, November 2002

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Many factors led to the introduction of Channel Four in Britain in1982. There was a common concurrence that there was not a channel that was representative of the minority groups of Great Britain and that after the BBC was given a second channel, it seemed inevitable that another channel would follow suit. I will be discussing these issues that led to the final decisions of the new channel that is now Channel Four including the pressure groups which campaigned for it, the governmental oppositions which were involved, the Annan Report of 1977, the new Broadcasting Act of 1980 and the responses to the new channel when it was first transmitted by critics and the public.

The reason why television channels were not meeting the needs of the more diverse population goes back to the early days when Reith was the Director General at the BBC. His austere, middle class values rubbed off into his work ethics and his philosophy at the BBC was to inform, educate and entertain.

This set of values had continued to grow as television progressed and even ITV had somehow incorporated it into their set of values, although the way in which they interpreted it was rather different. The idea that there would be one television station for everybody to watch was clearly not enough for the British public. The ideas at the BBC were considered to be very 'high brow' and would show features which were only suitable for a typical audience, namely the white, middle class public. For example, music that was performed was not the type that was considered 'popular', the BBC did not adhere to the fast growing love of America's pop music. Their tastes were for classical music and other similar types. The ITV were now very popular also but...