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A Future for Public Service Television$
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Des Freedman and Vana Goblot

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781906897710

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9781906897710.001.0001

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Debating ‘Distinctiveness’: How Useful a Concept is it in Measuring the Value and Impact of the BBC?

Debating ‘Distinctiveness’: How Useful a Concept is it in Measuring the Value and Impact of the BBC?

(p.165) 19 Debating ‘Distinctiveness’: How Useful a Concept is it in Measuring the Value and Impact of the BBC?
A Future for Public Service Television

Peter Goddard

The MIT Press

This chapter considers the concept of distinctiveness in public service broadcasting. The notion of distinctiveness is relatively new in regulatory terms. The words ‘distinctive’ or ‘distinctiveness’ do not appear at all in the 2007 Charter and only once (requiring the BBC to enrich ‘the cultural life of the UK through creative excellence in distinctive and original content’) in the accompanying Agreement. Distinctiveness can be taken to mean original rather than imitative, foregrounding quality and public value, antipopulist, and different from other channels' programming. Hence, although these might all be worthy aspirations for a public service broadcaster, it appears that distinctiveness is a rather elastic term and at times a contradictory one.

Keywords:   distinctiveness, public service broadcasting, public service television, BBC, public service broadcasters

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