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Public Service Broadcasting

In the United Kingdom of Great Britain the history of Private service Broadcasting is very long and profound. It is a well known fact that public service broadcasting has always been closely connected with BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation). What is interesting about British system of private Service Broadcasting is that it is aimed on the public benefit rather than commercial profit: “a) To inform and to increase public’s understanding of the world through news, information and analysis of current events and ideas. b) To encourage public’s interest and knowledge of arts, science, history and other topics through understandable programs that can also encourage informal learning (such as learning at home). c) To reflect and strengthen public’s cultural identity through original programming at UK national and regional levels, occasionally bringing audiences together for shared experiences. d) To make public aware of different cultures and other points of view, through programs that reflect the lives of other people and other communities, both within the UK and elsewhere” (Eve Salomon, 2006).

There are 4 broadcasters that provide nationwide television: British Broadcasting Corporation, the Independent Television, Channel 4 and Channel 5.
British Broadcasting Corporation was founded by in 1922 by a group of independent companies but already in 1927 it was given a number of royal privileges and has become the national one staying independent in the editorial policy and has its own government.

The invention of Public Service Broadcasting is closely connected with BBC and without any doubts all the innovative forms were firstly invented in BBC. What is important to tell about Public Service Broadcasting is their annual license fee it means that BBC does not sell advertising time and its main mission is to “inform, educate and entertain”. The invention of Public Service Broadcasting concept, give the viewer an ability to choose informative and educational programs without wasting time on advertising.

The idea of annual fee for advertising free television has found almost national support.  What is interesting about BBC, that from the very beginning, the main attention of the audience was attracted by the interesting programs the channel suggested to people. The result was astonishing BBC has become the most popular. That was Lord Reith (John Charles Walsham Reith, 1st Baron Reith) who established the concept that later has become a mission of Public Service Broadcasting. His concept was lying in using broadcasting in the sphere of educating the masses and was used not only by the BBC but many others broadcasting companies in the whole world.

The invention of this principle actually was among those which produced a huge influence on the development broadcasting. Educational and the same time entertaining programs become the key message of Public Service Broadcasting for many years as it attracted different sorts of people who wish to find something special behind the blue screen  or in the radio translations.

What is interesting about this concept as it is one of the most popular in teaching at school. If you make the education entertaining it will bring a huge success and give great development.

The invention took place with the appearing of BBC in the 1920s: “The 1920s see the creation of the BBC as an institution and as a broadcaster. John Reith, the BBC’s founding father, moulds its ethos – to inform, educate and entertain – which still endures to this very day, setting the model for many other public service broadcasters. Radio quickly takes off with the British public in this decade, as listeners cluster around their crystal sets. Broadcast ‘first’ follows broadcast ‘first’ – from first news bulletin to first outside broadcast, from first royal address to the very first sound of Big Ben on the BBC. The BBC also faces its first major government confrontation over editorial independence, during the General Strike of 1926” (BBC,2009).

The Public Service broadcasting was started in the era of innovation. And one innovation followed another. The radio entertained people with the wide variety of musical rhythms from all over the world, especially those, which were very popular. In the 1930s radio translations offered wide range of different programs touching cultural and historical themes, arts and many others. The principles of John Reith were put into the basement of the development of the company and a huge variety of innovative information was offered to the growing audience.

During the Second World War the informative aspect has become among the most significant. All the important information appeared on the waves of Public Service Broadcasting Company BBC. The latest news, Winston Churchill’s rousing speeches, new programs become a part of everyday life as for countless listeners of the United Kingdom as well as in the whole world.

After the ending of the Second World War, in the 1950s the era of innovation continued but the radio translations were replaced by television. The most sign event at that times translation of Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, more than 20 million audience watched on their screens the translation.
During every decade of its existence BBC followed the main concept, from the very beginning till now, inform, educate and entertain. Every kind of innovation provided was aimed on this concept and raised the interest of the audience. May be that was the main factor because British Broadcasting Corporation and Public Service Broadcasting have become so popular in the whole world.


Salomon E. (2006) Public Service Broadcasting in the United Kingdom: Issues and Lessons. Media Digest, Beijing, 2006

British Broadcasting Company official web site. 2009.History of Innovation. 9th of November 2009.

Royal Television Society Official web page. 2009. Here’s Looking at You: The Story of British Television 1908-1939. 9th of November 2009.

Gilder PhD., Eric. Mass Media Moments in the United Kingdom, the USSR and the USA.“Lucian Blaga” University of Sibiu Press, Romania. 2003.

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