Myth of a Public Service
New Books in British StudiesNew Books in CommunicationsNew Books in Critical TheoryNew Books in JournalismNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in PoliticsNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network December 2, 2016 Dave O'Brien
The BBC is often thought to be a great, impartial, defender of British values and society. In The BBC: Myth of a Public Service (Verso, 2016), Tom Mills, a lecturer in Sociology at Aston University, re-reads the history of the BBC to offer a more problematic status for the corporation, as an adjunct of British state power. The book uses examples from the General Strike in Britain, through war and economics reporting, to the vetting of left wing political attitudes within the Corporation, to tell the story of an institution that has been misunderstood by both left and right wing critics. Moreover, the book provides a critique of the management and organisation reforms to the BBC, coupled with a class analysis, demonstrating the need for transformation to this important part of British society. At a time when the media is under intense scrutiny for its perceived failures in reporting and representing politics and economics, Mills’ analysis and prescriptions for reform make for essential reading.