Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Why live? The persistence of live tv in a digital age

Dr Angela Smith will be speaking at The Ross Priory Broadcast Talk Research Seminar, which takes place 8th-10th July. Her paper will suggest a reason why there is still ‘live’ tv outside of news and sporting events.  With so much television output pre-recorded, and even more watched online as downloads on iPlayer and other systems, the question arises as to why entertainment programmes continue to be broadcast ‘live’.  This is particularly the case in shows which contain largely unscripted interaction, and thus carry an underlying sense of unpredictability.   Using a case study of the The One Show (BBC1), John Durham Peters’ observation that live broadcasts are akin to gambling (2001: 19) will be drawn on to explore how this is manifest in such shows.   In particular, there is a frequently-made observation that news and sport are broadcast live in part because of their dramatic potential, the notion that viewers can be ‘witnesses’ to an event.  Angela will suggest that in entertainment programmes, this dramatic potential can be linked less to the authenticity and truthfulness of the event, but of the personalities of the presenters.


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SURE: Research from the University of Sunderland