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Title: ‘Keeping it real’: the politics of Channel 4's multiculturalism, mainstreaming and mandates
Authors: Malik, S
Keywords: Channel 4;Multicultural
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Citation: Screen, 49 (3): 343-353, Autumn 2008
Abstract: When Channel 4 decided how it was going to fill what was described in the Annan Report as ‘the empty room of British broadcasting’, it was agreed that Britain's Africans, Caribbeans and Asians were to be important residents. This was meaningful for Channel 4 because it was tasked with providing what Stephen Lambert then described as ‘opportunities for talents which had previously not been fully served’ and with serving needs ‘which have not been fully defined’. And yet the recent history of the channel has been characterized by the closing stages of a particular kind of ‘public service’ approach; one in which ethnic minorities have become simultaneously integrated in and disconnected from mainstream output in distinct ways. Twenty-five years on, the channel is caught up in the difficulties facing the structuring of public service broadcasting and in the challenges posed by the highly contentious politics of recognition for the settlement of the relation between a variety of social rights. On the one hand, black and Asian Britons, who as part of the postcolonial phase of migration to the UK might be regarded as the ‘old ethnics’, do not now appear to be a priority for Channel 4. On the other, the legacy of the relationship between Channel 4, these communities and broader ideals of ‘multiculturalism’ appears to be strong, not least according to the channel's current claims.
Description: This article is a post-print version of the published article which may be viewed at the link below. © The Author 2008. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Screen. All rights reserved.
ISSN: 0036-9543
Appears in Collections:Sociology

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