Arts Council Of the Press? No chance. 

15 March 2004 tbs.pm/654

The Observer: Pitfalls of the television money-go-round

As the dull-and-worthy sounding ‘arts council of the air’ concept gets muttered about it again (because all public service television is arts, isn’t it?) it’s the press who, as usual, are having a hard time to know what to make of it.

Why? Well they simply don’t understand why (for example) the South Bank Show should receive public money for a profile of Damian Hurst, when (for example) The Independent’s profile wouldn’t.

Of course there’s two answers to that. The first is to say that there’s more to public service broadcasting that just news and arts, and that as such, why should any commercial broadcaster receive the cash for providing such a limited subset of public service broadcasting?

The second is of course that if the press actually want the money, all they have to do exactly what the commercial broadcasters are trying to do – blackmail the government with the threat of removing anything that isn’t the trashiest-of-trashiest from our screens, with the hope that the government will then give them some extra cash, which would mean they can afford to pay for some more trashy TV.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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Andrew Bowden Contact More by me

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Liverpool, Saturday 2 July 2022