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The aim of this programme is to suggest that television, as an important source of information about society, should be assessed with the same degree of critical attention that scholars habitually ...accord their written sources. The programme is written and presented by Mr Stuart Hall of Birmingham University's Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies and consists of an analysis of the first programme in the course, 'The Labour Decision on Industrial Relations 1969' (D203/01). Mr Hall identifies the different types of material in the programme, traces the process by which it was gathered together and assembled by the producers, considers the nature and implications of the editorial decisions involved, and comments on the way television as a medium can affect the choice and selection of material. The programme includes a brief comment by Mrs Barbara Castle MP on the editing of an interview with her in the previous programme.
Metadata describing this Open University video programme
Module code and title: D203, Decision making in Britain
Item code: D203; 02
First transmission date: 31-01-1972
Published: 1972
Rights Statement:
Restrictions on use:
Duration: 00:24:30
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Producer: Michael Philps
Contributors: Barbara Castle; Stuart Hall; David Murray; John Radcliffe
Publisher: BBC Open University
Keyword(s): Choice/selection of material; Editorial decisions; Information about society
Footage description: Stuart Hall introduces the programme. He intends to consider the use of television as a source. Stuart Hall introduces some characteristics by which the programme differs from the documentary which it resembled. Radcliffe and Murray indicate the differences. The interview technique is also discussed by Stuart Hall over film of the Crossman interview being set up. Stuart Hall examines the process of programme assembly. John Radcliffe adds his comments. In his examination of the process Stuart Hall uses a filmed animation. A further animation highlights the different nature of the kinds of material that had to be brought together. The opening minutes of the programmes are diagrammed. Hall continues by emphasising the 'impurity' of the material presented. A clip from the Crossman interview is shown as an example. Stuart Hall also points out how preconceptions and theories of the programme material can influence choice of interviewees, questions put etc., i.e. the selective nature of the programme. Stuart Hall assesses the role of the linking commentary tying together the disparate elements of interview and actuality film clip. Stuart Hall assesses the degree to which the programme, although open-ended and attempting therefore to provoke questions, fails despite precautions to be totally objective. Hall considers the use of interview material, and the selection of the interview material that was shown. The programme film editor is interviewed. Stuart Hall talks also with Barbara Castle and the producers about the editing. Barbara Castle's original answer was lengthy. David Murray also gives his opinion. Stuart Hall continues with his discussion of the interview. He uses an animation to make his points. Stuart Hall leads on to a consideration of the special characteristics of television as a medium. David Murray adds his comments. Hall also point out the medium's disadvantages and weaknesses, using as an example the correspondence material's list of influences upon decisions and then seeing how television could illustrate them. An animation is used. Stuart Hall sums up on the advantages and disadvantages of television. The last word on the medium is left with Barbara Castle. Credits.
Master spool number: 6HT/70282
Production number: 6HT70282
Videofinder number: 3394
Available to public: no