• drew-bae-Si6NUD3UUcw-unsplash

Informing, Educating and Entertaining for Democracy; the BBC at Home and Abroad: what public service should look like

A Special Edition Journal by Suzanne Franks and Jean Seaton, published by The Political Quarterly

Good quality information is a public utility: the rich and powerful will always have access to what they need to know, but poor people do not. Indeed, increasing inequalities in access to decent information underlie other more obvious inequalities. Bad information does not respect borders and yet democracy depends on informed citizens. The case for public intervention in what used to be called broadcasting, now including digital media—but which needs to be thought of as a public information space—is at a tipping point. This collection of essays sets out these vital challenges and offers some innovative solutions.

Photo by Drew Bae on Unsplash

Jean Seaton

About Jean Seaton

Jean Seaton is Professor of Media History and the Official Historian of the BBC. She will publish in the Autumn of 2024 the next volume of the Corporations story, Holding the Line: the BBC and the Nation, taking Lord Asa Briggs work forward for Profile Books. This involves everything the BBC did in a tumultuous decade from the conflict in Northern Ireland, to the invasion of the Falklands, to Not the Nine O'Clock News, the Proms, the early music revolution, devolution, Dennis Potter's greatest plays, Attenborough's revolutionary series Life on Earth, and Radio 1s most influential moment, as well as the role of women in the Corporation, programmes for children and a tense and complicated relationship with the government. The historian was given privileged access to BBC archives, but also gained privileged access to state papers. For the first time the Corporation's history is seen in the round. It has depended on several hundred interviews, and explores both the programme making decision that go into the making of an iconic Television series like John le Carre's Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but also the high politics around the imposition of the broadcasting ban.


Jean Seaton
14 April 2024
Research Area
Published By
The Political Quarterly
Share this article
CAMRI | Informing, Educating and Entertaining for Democracy; the BBC at Home and Abroad: what public service should look like - CAMRI
class="pirenko_portfolios-template-default single single-pirenko_portfolios postid-9611 samba_theme samba_left_nav samba_left_align samba_responsive thvers_85 wpb-js-composer js-comp-ver-6.5.0 vc_responsive"