Thursday, September 01, 2005

Strong argument for public broadcasting

London 4 7.7.2005
Originally uploaded by

I returned on Sunday from a seminar in Sweden on youth tv. The seminar was mostly attended by public broadcasters, which meant the lack of resources was an obvious topic for dinner table and workshop discussions. The role of public broadcasting has been under criticism or evaluation in a number of countries lately.

I believe in public broadcasting. Let me explaing why using a few examples.

The Finnish broadcaster YLE showed last year a tv series on a hot topic in Finland at that time, i.e. why children with good backgrounds commit crimes. As I wrote in my critique then in Helsingin Sanomat, I think that programmes like Nollatoleranssi (Zero Tolerance) are strong arguments for public broadcasting. We need critical analysis on our society. This in addition to plans like the one´s of BBC of having more on-demand material and easier access to archives are good motivations to have public television alongside the commercial ones.

My latest boost for pro-public broadcasting feelings is a result of my visit to Sweden. The Swedes I met all mentioned a series called Kommissionen (The Commission).

It is a fiction series on a terrorist attack to Stockholm. I just watched the trailer and it seems superb. Shocking and emotional.

I knew already that SVT (Swedish public broadcaster) knows how to do tv, but the quality of this seemed amazing. I am strongly considering ordering it on dvd. It seems like it strikes straight to the point, showing the true face of politics of fear. Well done.

1 comment:

Dave said...

You're absolutely right. Evangelizing the work of the BBC is a part-time, unpaid hobby of mine, it seems. See for a lot of examples!

Public broadcasting can do things that are unimaginable in the commercial world, and we'd all be a lot poorer without institutions like the BBC, SVT, and YLE.