Networks are ideal for delivering specialised information to small audiences. Broadcasting is better at catering for the mass.

Any mass media or broadcasting regime rides an inexorable gradient towards the gutter.


Television is not vulgar because people are vulgar; it is vulgar because people are similar in their prurient interests and sharply differentiated in their civilised concerns.

Harsh words, from George Gilder the American media visionary. But we know from the Golden Age of the BBC that television can be a medium for High Art. We also know that most of what’s on the Net is garbage.

And then there’s convergence. With many digital channels you have narrowcasting: broadcasting to small segmented audiences. Digital TV enables interactivity in which computer technology invades broadcasting. We have Internet over TV, and TV, video and radio over Internet. We have push technologies like email on the Internet, and pull technologies like the Web.

So, what is broadcasting good for?

Perhaps BSkyB has answer: news, movies and sport. Products which are very time-sensitive and which are aimed at mass audiences. Everything else should go on a network