Public issue television

World in Action' 1963–98

By Peter Goddard, John Corner and Kay Richardson

Public issue television


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6255-1
  • Pages: 264
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: November 2007
  • BIC Category: Society & social sciences / Popular culture, The arts / Television, PERFORMING ARTS / Television / General, Popular culture, Television, Film and Media


Public issue television is a major contribution to understanding the relationship between television, politics and society. Based on full access to the archives, it offers a fascinating historical account of how one television series, Granada's World in Action, celebrated for its tough journalism, visual directness and public impact, functioned and developed over its run across 35 years between 1963 and 1998. In a succession of chapters looking at different periods in the series' development and at key dimensions of its distinctive identity, it gets deep inside the making of factual television and examines how a particular culture of production works within broader conditions of possibility and constraint. In particular, it charts the interwoven processes of change - technological, professional, aesthetic, institutional, economic, social and political.

As well as discussing achievement and success, it examines the tensions, the debates and open conflicts that formed part of the context within which the series was made and transmitted across four decades.


Peter Goddard is Lecturer in the School of Politics and Communication Studies, University of Liverpool. John Corner is Professor in the School of Politics and Communication Studies, University of Liverpool. Kay Richardson is Reader in the School of Politics and Communication Studies, University of Liverpool


World in Action: Some key names
1. Introduction
2. Origins: Technology, innovation and social purpose
Interlude: The World Tomorrow
3. 1967-75: The classic period
4. 1975-88: The Fitzwalter years
5. 1988-98: Current affairs as commodity
6. Organisation and culture of production
7. Documentary journalism and television form
8. Regulation: policy and conflict
9. Conclusion: television in action
World in Action editions: an index

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