Scaling back BBC 4?

I’ve been hopping around incandescent with rage this morning, at the news that the BBC is thinking of scaling back BBC 4. ‘Shall I blog this?’ – I thought – ‘It’s surely got little to do with feminism, philosophy, or feminist philosophy.’ Then I found an article in the Huffpo, and decided if it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for us. So yes, folks, the BBC are thinking of scaling back BBC 4. For those of you who don’t know about the channel:

In the past few weeks the BBC has produced some really high quality programming. It has produced some programming that falls very much within their remit of public service broadcasting.

Examples of this high quality broadcasting include the shamelessly high-brow ‘Great Thinkers In Their Own Words’, some tremendous documentaries about Italy, Scotland and Liverpool, first class programming about popular, roots and classical music, and some fascinating documentaries about sculpture and art. On top of this, they have reshown the seminal ‘All Our Working Lives’ – about unemployment in the North East.

All of these pieces of programmes are thoroughly within the public service ethos that should be running through the BBC’s bloodstream. It is hard to imagine any other broadcaster making them. All of these programmes were shown on the excellent BBC4.

It comes as something of a shock, then, to discover that the BBC is, according to the Guardian, considering scaling back BBC4, as part of a cost cutting drive. This scaling back will, apparently involve the channel that is focused on high quality documentaries and innovative programming, becoming solely focused on “arts and repeats.”

The BBC is thinking of retaining BBC 3, which leans more towards the sort of voyeuristic fare one expects from more commercially focused channels.

One thought on “Scaling back BBC 4?

  1. Nooo! BBC 4 also brought us the excellent Swedish cop show, Wallander, and the Danish cop show, The Killing (now remade, less well, for the US, showing on 4OD). The latter show has as principle investigator the excellent (fictional) Sarah Lund.

    Pertinent to our concern here: both series interestingly depicted subtle (& not so subtle) sexism faced by women investigators at work.

    (Some good news: there’s a new series of the killing scheduled for the autumn, I gather).

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