Ever since the first scheduled television broadcasts began in the 1930s, newspapers and magazines took quickly to reviewing this revolutionary and popular new medium. The task of television criticism in the public doman intially fell to radio critics and journalists, but the 1950s saw the rise of the dedicated TV critic. Such critics appeared at a time when Britain was undergoing dramatic cultural and social change - and television was widely perceived to play an important role in this change. Over the years, critics such as Peter Black, Philip Pursor, Clive James and Mark Lawson have played an important part in shaping the public discourse about television. Studying the discourse of such critics provides a unique insight into public attitudes to TV, the values by which TV has been judged, and adds to our understanding of the way in which TV has become such an integral part of modern British culture. TV Critics and Popular Culture is the first book to examine the evolution of television criticism in Britain, exploring different types of TV critics and reviewers, the form of their work, the critical language used, the programmes reviewed and the underlying values at work. The analysis is contextualised in relation to wider cultural debates and developments in television and journalism. Alongside this historical-theoretical analysis, the book also explores the perennial question of what the role of the TV critic is, how and why it changes, and whether, with the birth of new technologies, is the TV critic a dying breed? This is an important contribution to the history of Journalism and Television Studies, and to Media Studies and Cultural Studies more widely.
TV Critics and Popular Culture
A History of British Television Criticism