Channel 4's drama reflects its public service remit

Topics: Television, Broadcasting, January Pages: 9 (2256 words) Published: April 26, 2014
With close reference to no more than three texts discuss how Channel 4’s drama reflects its public service remit. ‘Channel 4 no longer makes programmes for minorities, because it wants to bring audiences together rather than segment them.’ (Jeffries, S). The objective of this essay is to discuss and examine the ways in which ‘Channel 4’ dramas reflect its public service remit. Throughout this essay there will be an analysis focusing on two particular television drama’s that have been produced purely for Channel 4 to show if they do reflect the station’s public service remit and how they reflect it; these two dramas being, ‘Brookside’ (1982) and ‘Skins’ (2007). By examining these two particular television dramas, certain elements will be considered to show that they are successful at reflecting on Channel 4’s public service remit. Some of these elements include the storyline’s that were created for the drama shows, how many viewers the shows had gained, what money was made from the shows and the duration of the shows. Channel 4’s public service remit will be explored, with close attention to any changes that have been made to over the years. There will also be emphasis of why the chosen television dramas do reflect Channel 4’s public service remit with the use of comparison, not only with dramas produced for Channel 4 but with other television broadcasting stations, for example television dramas that are aired on Channel 4 would not be seen as ‘appropriate’ to be shown on ‘ITV’. ‘Channel 4 has changed the way it delivers its remit over time, although it continues to deliver the quantifiable elements of its remit and consistently meets or exceeds its licence obligations.’ (The Guardian 2007). Publically owned, ‘Channel 4’ is a commercially funded public service broadcaster. Channel 4 does not receive any funding from the public and has a remit to be innovative, experimental and distinctive. Channel 4 creates television, film and digital media that reflect on its public service remit, which is outlined in the 2003 Communications Act and most recently in the 2010 Digital Economy Act. The broadcasting station was first launched in 1982. Unlike other broadcasting stations such as ‘ITV’, Channel 4 is funded predominantly by advertising and sponsorship whereas ‘ITV’ is shareholder owned. Channel 4 is a statutory corporation, independent of Government, and governed by a unitary board made up of executive and non-executive directors, who are responsible for ensuring that Channel 4 fulfils its remit and delivers its financial responsibilities. With Channel 4 being funded purely by advertising, any profit that is generated by its commercial activity is directly reinvested straight back into the production and delivery of their public service remit through television, film and digital media. Channel 4's primary purpose is the fulfilment of its public service remit, which is defined in the 2003 Communications Act. The Communications Act states that ‘the public service remit for Channel 4 is the provision of a broad range of high quality and diversity in programmes which in particular have to obtain many points. Programmes must demonstrate innovation, experiment be creative. The programmes produced have to appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society. They have to make a significant contribution to meet the needs for the licensed public service channels to include programmes of an educational nature and value. Finally, the programmes must exhibit a distinctive character. The public service remit for Channel 4 was updated by 2010 Digital Economy Act, which in addition to the 2003 Communications Act, requires the broadcasting station to participate in a broader range of activities. The 2010 Digital Economy act required Channel 4 to participate in the making of variations of relevant media content to a high quality that appeals to the interests of a culturally diverse society, by doing this programmes must explore a...

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