The BBC and digital policy instrumentation in the UK: Straitjackets and conveyor belts

Klontzas, Michael. 2013. The BBC and digital policy instrumentation in the UK: Straitjackets and conveyor belts. International Journal of Digital Televison, 4(1), pp. 49-65. ISSN 2040-4182 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article goes beyond a conventional content-centric approach to public service broadcasting (PSB), to argue that the distinctiveness of the BBC as a public servicecommunications provider lies in its historical role in delivering public policy. Unlike commercial broadcasters, who may and often do choose to ignore economic and other incentives, the BBC is relied upon to respond to government calls for assistance in implementing key policies. Broadcasting history in the United Kingdom demonstrates the crucial involvement of the corporation in pioneering and at times even rescuing policy initiatives, ranging from the introduction of the very first broadcasts, to the on-going push towards wholesale digitalization. The particular focus of this article is on the historical role that the BBC has been playing in order for digitalization policies to be implemented in the United Kingdom. At risk to its autonomy and public support, it is in this context that the BBC may be considered indispensable.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


BBC; Internet; PSB; broadcasting; digital; public policy; switchover

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


21 November 2012Accepted
1 March 2013Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

07 Jul 2021 09:01

Last Modified:

08 Jul 2021 17:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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