Genre in British factual television: the role and value of genre in industry commissioning and production discourse

Mclean, James (2021) Genre in British factual television: the role and value of genre in industry commissioning and production discourse. Doctoral thesis, University of East Anglia.

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This thesis explores the field of British factual television production and commissioning to better understand the uses, values, and meanings of genre within the lived-in practices of its industry creative practitioners. Genre remains a relatively under-researched focus of studies into British factual television. Academic research into television production has established the importance of commercial formats for factual producers and commissioners yet the role of genre has been largely overlooked.

Genre and television are often associated with programming than production; catalysed and sustained by the discourses between critics, audiences, and industry (Mittell, 2004). This thesis reveals how genre functions separately—and differently—in the production of factual television. Genres are embedded in British television industry culture providing shared contexts to the multiple agents involved in producing content and managing the high level of media-market uncertainty.

This thesis argues industry-embedded genres are an ongoing structural and discursive component of factual television; a commonality used between industry practitioners to adapt to the pressures and risks of a complex, rhizomatic, and highly unpredictable television culture.

Through an integrated methodology applying semi-structured interviews conducted with British factual television producers and commissioning editors, ethnographic fieldwork from the film/television industry event Sheffield Doc/Fest, and an analysis of relevant industry texts, this thesis seeks to provide further insights into television creative production practices through their assigned uses, values, and meanings of genre.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Art, Media and American Studies
Depositing User: Chris White
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2022 10:16
Last Modified: 12 Jul 2022 10:16


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