Makers of factual Television Programmes

As we will see and discuss during the term, the relationships in factual TV between didactic or informative content and the narratives that convey it can vary enormously. The BBC characterises the range as running from ‘serious’ (or journalistic) factual’ to ‘factual entertainment’, and there are many, often subtly-different, varieties of programme type in such a range. Your essay should use close readings of the examples you choose in ways that identify, and critically evaluate, some different relationships between the ‘facts’ that a programme delivers and the structural, stylistic and narrative means by which it delivers them.
You will submit an essay of 2,500 words, conforming with the University’s standards for written work and its requirements for referencing that responds to the following statement:
Makers of factual television programmes must always balance two potentially- conflicting tasks: the requirement to impart information, knowledge, understanding or ideas, on one hand; and, on the other, the need to provide engaging narratives that will capture, sustain and build audiences’ attention. Such balance can be struck in a variety of ways, but choices about form must be based on the producer’s developed knowledge of an audience’s awareness of, and attitudes to, the programme’s subject.
Your essay will discuss, using either at least 3 examples from UK broadcasting, or at least 2 examples from UK broadcasting and one example from another national broadcaster, some different ways in which the facts of factual television programming can be conveyed so as to meet the expectations of audiences.