The primrose path: faking UK television documentary, "docuglitz" and docusoap

Winston, Brian (1999) The primrose path: faking UK television documentary, "docuglitz" and docusoap. Screening the Past (8). ISSN UNSPECIFIED

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Something of a paradox is at work in the world of British documentary. Long a staple of UK television output, in recent years it has become for the first time a jewel in the prime-time crown. At the same time, though, there has been a running newspaper story since May 1998 about "fakery" in these programmes. The headlines have been screaming for months: "CAN WE BELIEVE ANYTHING WE SEE ON TV?" ; "Channel 4 in new documentary fake row"; "VANESSA SHOW FAKED"; "Will this footage sink Channel 4?"; even, "Fake shots 'routine' in TV wildlife programmes". This press coverage now amounts to a full-scale "media ( or rather "newspaper") panic" about documentary veracity and legitimacy. It is as if real popularity has been purchased at the cost of considerable hysteria about "abuse of public trust". That the leading witch-hunters are the first world's most sensationalist, hypocritical and mendacious press hasn't reduced one jot the panic they have created.

Additional Information:Series of occasional papers
Keywords:Media, Television
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P300 Media studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:12705
Deposited On:17 Dec 2013 16:42

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