This is a study of the BBC in the post-war period which focuses primarily on the
history and development of BBC public service broadcasting in Scotland, and
particularly within the period 1952-1980. Scottish developments in broadcasting are
placed within the wider U.K. context because of the interrelationship between both,
especially as BBC Scotland is only one of the BBC's regions, albeit a national region.
This perspective is used in order to highlight how BBC Scottish broadcasting has
evolved during this period as part of an essentially centralised broadcasting
organisation. Each chapter is subdivided into a number of sections which are
separately numbered and titled. The various issues and themes are discussed within
a chronological framework. There are also a number of appendices which contain
reference, statistical, and illustrative material which link in with the various chapters.
The research draws upon a wide range of source material including BBC written
archival material, taped interviews, official publications, BBC reference source material,
books, pamphlets, and journal and newspaper articles.
Chapter 1 begins by tracing the early history of the BBC from its founding as a
Company in 1922 up until the dissolution of that Company in 1926 and its
reconstitution as a public corporation. It also discusses the BBC's local radio stations
in Scotland in the 1920s and the development of Scottish regional broadcasting during
the 1930s. The chapter concludes by examining the Reithian public service ethos
and the development of national broadcasting through to the restart of national and
Scottish regional broadcasting in 1945; it thus provides background material to the
main period covered by the research. Chapter 2 focuses on the organisational
structure of the BBC in Scotland and its institutional links with the BBC centrally; it
discusses the formation, powers, and operation of the Scottish Advisory Council and
the Broadcasting Council for Scotland; it examines the financial basis of broadcasting, including the implication of financial policy for the provision of BBC programme
services in Scotland; and concludes by analysing the impact of the organisational and
resource control changes introduced due to the growth of the BBC as an institution.
Chapter 3 examines the various technical, financial, and social aspects governing the
geographical extension of BBC broadcasting services in Scotland. It also considers,
in some detail, various radio and television engineering developments since the early
1950s. Chapter 4 focuses on the development of the television programme services.
Emphasis is placed on programme policy, and to a lesser extent, programme content.
Topics covered include the arrival of BBC television in Scotland in 1952, the differing
regional structure of BBC and ITV, competition between the BBC and ITV, the
introduction of BBC-2, and television development in Scotland up until the late 1970s.
Chapter 5 discusses the development of the radio programme services. It focuses on
programme policy, and to a lesser extent, programme content. Topics covered include
the development of the BBC Scottish Home Service, BBC local radio, network radio,
competition between the BBC and ILR, BBC community radio in Scotland, and the
programme policy and development of BBC Radio Scotland. Chapter 6 focuses on
three key themes in BBC broadcasting in Scotland: the BBC's dual programme
responsibility (to produce programmes for Scotland and for the network audience) and
Scottish images in broadcasting; centralisation; and regional devolution. Chapter 7
concludes by focusing on the immediate financial pressures and longer-term
competitive challenges which the BBC faced in 1980.