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TV Critics and Popular Culture: A History of British Television Criticism (International Library of Cultural Studies) [Hardcover]

Paul Rixon

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Book Description

30 Nov 2011 International Library of Cultural Studies
Ever since the first scheduled television broadcasts began in the 1930s, newspapers and magazines took quickly to reviewing this revolutionary 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. These critics, including Peter Black, Philip Pursor and Clive James, played an important part in shaping the public discourse about television. This new book explores the evolution of television criticism in Britain, exploring different types of TV critics and reviewers, the form of their work, and evaluates their importance in our understanding of the way television has become such an integral part of modern culture. It also asks whether, with the birth of new technologies, is the TV critic a dying breed? This is an important contribution to the fields of Journalism and Television Studies, Cultural Studies, and contemporary History.

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'This excellent study reveals the little-known story of the taste-makers, commentators and pundits who have evaluated television outside of the specialised world of academic writing. The book charts the shifts in journalism and reviewing from the beginnings of television criticism when a new discourse had to be invented to deal with the emerging medium, into developed commentary about television by figures such as Raymond Williams, Dennis Potter and Clive James. Feature columnists and specialist television critics are now facing the new challenges posed by online viewer comment, blogging and virtually instant response to programmes. Rixon's book takes the reader through this cultural history with assurance and insight... The book shows how comment about television shapes the ways viewers come to programmes, how hierarchies of taste and value are constructed, and how critics function as mediators in national debates about television culture. Referring to a wide range of well-known and lesser-known writers and programmes, Rixon weighs the significance of television criticism as a cultural practice and asks how media convergence promises to change our relationships with what we watch. This study is an essential contribution to histories of British television, popular culture and media analysis.' --Jonathan Bignell, Professor of Television and Film, University of Reading

Rixon succeeds in filling an academic lacuna with worthwhile forgotten cultural history. --Tristan Quinn, Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Paul Rixon is Principal Lecturer in Media and Cultural Studies at Roehampton University. He has published extensively on American programmes, British television and the media coverage of war in various journals. He is also the author of 'American Television on British Screens' (2006).

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