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Hesmondhalgh, David

David Hesmondhalgh (University of Leeds) focuses on television being one of the key contributors to culture and thus overall quality of life. Culture has been intensified by digitisation ‘which allows access to culture to become more mobile, flexible, and frequent’. Culture has therefore become even more central to our lives and should ‘be considered alongside merit goods in the health and education sectors, as requiring public, democratic provision to prevent under-supply of goods that have a significant effect on people’s quality of life.’ As such, television should not be left to the market and only be understood in terms of consumers’ subjective preferences, as ‘consumers will generally over-value in advance the familiar, and underestimate the benefits of the fresh, the innovative and the challenging.’ As digitalisation also intensifies the problem of cultural fragmentation, a version of the current ecology of ‘a generously and universally funded BBC, alongside public service oriented commercial providers, must surely remain the prime means by which such cultural fragmentation is countered.’

David Hesmondhalgh