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A very conscientious brand: A case study of the BBC's current affairs series Panorama.

McQueen, D., 2011. A very conscientious brand: A case study of the BBC's current affairs series Panorama. Journal of Brand Management, 1-11.

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DOI: 10.1057/bm.2011.5


The reputation of British current affairs and documentary series such as the BBC's Panorama, Channel 4’s Dispatches or the now defunct Granada series World in Action have rested on an image of conscientious ‘public service’. These popular, long running series have, at various points in their history, acted as the ‘conscience of the nation’, seeking to expose social injustice, investigate misdemeanours by the powerful and take on venal or corrupt vested interest. The BBC’s flagship current affairs series Panorama is Britain’s longest running television programme and, according to the Panorama website, ‘the world’s longest running investigative TV show’. It has provided a template for other current affairs series both in Britain, Europe and around the world while undergoing several transformations in form and style since its launch in 1953, the latest and arguably most dramatic being in 2007. This article will chart the development of Panorama as a distinctive, ‘flagship' current affairs series over six decades. It will attempt to answer why the Panorama brand has survived so long, while so many other notable current affairs series have not. Using research and material from Bournemouth University’s Panorama Archive, the Video Active website, the BFI and other European archives this article explores the development of an iconic current affairs series that has, at different stages in its history, proved a template for other news and current affairs programmes. Various breaks and continuities are highlighted in Panorama’s history and identity, and an attempt will be made to characterise and specify the Panorama ‘brand’ and pinpoint the series’ successes and failures in reinventing itself in a rapidly changing media context.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:BBC, current affairs, history, brand, Carrickmore, Greg Dyke
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:17552
Deposited By: Mr David McQueen
Deposited On:29 Mar 2011 09:53
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 13:38


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