Ofcom's first year and neoliberalism's blind spot: attacking the culture of production

Harvey, Sylvia (2006) Ofcom's first year and neoliberalism's blind spot: attacking the culture of production. Screen, 47 (1). pp. 91-105. ISSN 1460-2474

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/screen/hjl006

Abstract

I know what the story is. I've read the story. But what is it trying to say? What is it about? Why are we doing this story vs. this story, vs. even another story? Why? What are these characters really saying to an audience? What are we trying to have them think or feel about a story ... ? It's the most terrifying question in this town.

This essay suggests that Ofcom, like those who routinely avoid the ‘terrifying question’ noted in the citation above, appears to lack the skills and the will to address some of the key issues of content and of purpose in British broadcasting today. Thus, while this new body is distinguished in its ability to assemble and publish a wide range of statistics about the industry, it may plausibly be accused of knowing ‘the cost of everything and the value of nothing’. Its key operating paradigms appear to rule out an engagement with the splendid and slippery issues of quality and of value and to be incapable of dealing with questions of cultural significance. The standard cultural studies proposition – that cultural context in large part determines the production and circulation of meanings – is banished from its lunar landscape.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:I know what the story is. I've read the story. But what is it trying to say? What is it about? Why are we doing this story vs. this story, vs. even another story? Why? What are these characters really saying to an audience? What are we trying to have them think or feel about a story ... ? It's the most terrifying question in this town. This essay suggests that Ofcom, like those who routinely avoid the ‘terrifying question’ noted in the citation above, appears to lack the skills and the will to address some of the key issues of content and of purpose in British broadcasting today. Thus, while this new body is distinguished in its ability to assemble and publish a wide range of statistics about the industry, it may plausibly be accused of knowing ‘the cost of everything and the value of nothing’. Its key operating paradigms appear to rule out an engagement with the splendid and slippery issues of quality and of value and to be incapable of dealing with questions of cultural significance. The standard cultural studies proposition – that cultural context in large part determines the production and circulation of meanings – is banished from its lunar landscape.
Keywords:Broadcasting, Regulation, Policy
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P301 Television studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Media
ID Code:910
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:28 Jun 2007
Last Modified:18 Jul 2011 16:14

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