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Television, Politics and the Rise of the New Right  (Greg Philo)

This article offers a broad analysis of the contemporary transformation of consensual politics with the New Right ascendancy and the election of a succession of Conservative governments from 1979. It illustrates the effect of these political changes on both the legal and commercial basis of broadcasting, and on the manner in which television reproduced contemporary socio-political debates. Tracing these changes from the initial attacks on broadcasting by the Conservatives in the early 1980s to the impact of the new Broadcasting Act in the 1990s, it notes that these developments had important effects on the relationship between broadcasting and the state, and asks what the prospects are for a critical and independent journalism.
 
Producing Serious Soaps (Lesley Henderson)

Lesley Henderson analyses the potential power of soap operas and TV fiction - including Brookside (Channel 4), Coronation Street (ITV), Eastenders (BBC1) and Emmerdale (ITV) - to convey messages to audiences. The chapter explores production processes, commercial pressures and perceptions of the audience amongst programme makers.It examines the ways in which institutional, organisational, commercial and regulatory pressures interconnect to inform the selection, timing and development of 'issue' storylines, and assesses the motivations and particular challenges of tackling socially sensitive areas. How and why are such storylines generated? What concerns influence the casting and characterisation of victim and survivor? How do soaps tackle distressing material without compromising audience loyalties?

 Refugees, Migrants and the Fall of the Berlin Wall (Greg McLaughlin)

This chapter shows how media representation of migration and refugees from Easter Europe changed radically following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Greg McLaughlin shows the explanatory power of news frameworks and how they may be informed by political and other priorities. He questions how and why such a shift in the news framework occurred, and what the implications of such coverage are for the ability of television news to interpret highly mutable crisis situations.