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Bailey, Michael

Michael Bailey (Department of Sociology, University of Essex) offers a comprehensive submission in which he critically examines the historical thinking that shaped television’s social purpose and its democratic mission. He reflects on how these ideas can guide and shape current debates of the role of public service television in the context of the medium’s changing production, distribution and consumption practices. Bailey’s submission, amongst others, reminds us of the enduring values of good policy interventions which are enabling rather than prohibitive. He highlights Richard Hoggart’s important distinction between duties and rights for programme makers, legislators and viewers alike. The public’s duty is ‘to respect other people’s tastes’; legislators have a duty ‘to create structures and methods of financing for broadcasting which encourage the production of ‘good programmes’ and ‘to enable disparate voices to be heard’ and the duty of programme makers is to commission programmes that ‘bring before us all the widest range of subject matter, the whole scope and variety of human awareness and experience, the best and the worst, the new and the challenging, the old and familiar, the serious and the light [thus] enriching the lives of every one of us.’

Michael Bailey