The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster headquartered at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff.Its main responsibility is to provide impartial public service broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands...
The BBC and many of its supporters argue that the Corporation is the most widely-respected broadcaster in the world. However, recent events and trends - combined with the BBC's position at the heart of the British media - have made it a particularly controversial subject. Throughout its history, the BBC has clashed with the Government of the day over its news reporting
The start of the new millennium was to see the biggest changes ever to the way the BBC provided its services. The digital revolution, across both television and radio, meant more choice, a wider variety of channels and programmes, and channels aimed at specific groups - for example ethnic, religious and special-interest groups. [...] Further expansion of the BBC's online services took place, and it is now possible to watch live news coverage via the news website, and even BBC television programmes after they've been broadcast, via the downloadable BBC iPlayer.
World Service Television began broadcasting in 1991 and unveiled a 24-hour news channel, BBC News 24, in 1997. The BBC also has been successful with the overseas syndication of its television programming. In the United States, series such as All Creatures Great and Small, Doctor Who, Mr. Bean, and Upstairs, Downstairs have been featured on the Public Broadcasting Service.
While Reith's BBC eagerly embraced the democratic medium of broadcasting - democratic in not only reaching millions of ordinary people but reaching them in the privacy of their homes - there is no doubt that it tried to resist the democratization of culture that came with it. The American media catered to the masses on their own rems, giving them what they wanted: the BBC sought to elevate and educate them.
Widely acclaimed for its quality programming they were awarded a second television channel BBC2 in 1964, In the same year the BBC Radio also was split into Radio 1, Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio 4. As well as the four national radio channels, a series of local radio stations were also established. Ever since the beginning the BBC has been on the cultural forefront and has been the home of many important programs that have left a mark in the world. Series such as Monty Python's Flying Circus, Doctor Who, Tonight, Pot Black and I, Claudius.
On 1st September 1939 when the BBC ceased television broadcasting it was explained that it was feared that the German air force would use the transmission signals from the aerial of Alexandra Palace as a navigational aid. As a result, television was too dangerous a luxury for wartime. [...] On an October day in 1945 the Government announced that it wanted the BBC to start television again, on the pre-war technical system.
The British news environment during the pre-war and early-war period is fairly easy to sum up: the newspaper was king. Print press was the main outlet for news, while the BBC was primarily for entertainment, talk shows, documentaries and 'outside broadcasts' of live commentary on events such as sports matches, state funerals and parades; BBC news consisted mostly of bulletins read by announcers. Yet the BBC had one very large asset: its audience. In September 1939, there were more than nine million wireless licenses in the United Kingdom, approximately 73 for every 100 households.
The history of this august institution parallels the history of broadcasting itself. The British Broadcasting Company Limited, as it was originally known, came into being on October 18, 1922. It represented a collaboration between leading radio manufacturers--such as the Marconi Company and the General Post Office (GPO)--that wanted to introduce a national service in Britain while preventing any individual manufacturer from gaining monopoly power. [...] Television service had a more difficult birth. The BBC had been experimenting with television broadcasts since 1932 and, in November 1936, was able to launch the world's first high-definition black-and-white service under the leadership of director of television Gerald Cock
The BBC's domestic broadcasting services are financed by the TV Licence. The Government sets the level of the licence fee. The current fee – from 1 April 2010 – is £145.50 for a colour licence and £49.00 for a black-and-white licence. The licence fee pays for: the television channels BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, BBC Parliament, CBBC and CBeebies; five network radio services, and digital radio services BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio 7, BBC 6 Music and BBC Asian Network; regional television programmes and Local Radio services in England; national radio and television in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; BBC Red Button, BBC Mobile and the BBC website (bbc.co.uk).
The BBC is the world's leading public service broadcaster. Its mission is to enrich people's lives with programmes that inform, educate and entertain. [...It] use[s] the income from the licence fee to provide services including 10 national TV channels plus regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website. BBC World Service broadcasts to the world on radio, on TV and online, providing news and information in 27 languages and world service English language. It is currently funded by the licence fee.