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The place of Britain in the world economy.

Chief industries.


Transport and communication.

Overseas trade.



GB has lost its former position of the leading industrial nation of the world. Britain today is fifth in size of its gross domestic product. As a result of World War I the country lost its monopoly in world trade. After World War II Britain lost its colonial empire and experienced an accelerated growth of monopolies. The export of capital abroad continues to be a major factor in its development the bulk of foreign investments is directed to the manufacturing industries of West European countries.

The monopolies in the country lay special emphasis on the development of such branches of the manufacturing and chemical industries which require high-skilled labour. Manufacturing and other production industries have undergone considerable reorganization to improve competitiveness. A number of industries such as aerospace, chemicals, oil, gas, electronics, and biotechnology have gained strength while textiles and some other traditional industries, including steel and shipbuilding, have contracted. As the development of the new industries does not compensate the decline of the traditional old industries there is a market growth of mass unemployment in the country. The British economy is primarily based on private enterprises. Part of public transport, industrial products, the coal mines, some steel, manufacturing plants are managed by the state. The atomic industry is also within the public sector. The national economy of GB is vitally dependent on foreign trade. About a third of the industrial products of the country is exported. Agriculture supplies nearly two-thirds of the country's food.

The structure of the economy has experienced serious changes: a decline in the relative importance of manufacturing and a rise in that of services. The general location of industry has changed little in recent years: four-fifths of industrial and agricultural production is concentrated in England.



Chief industries in GB include:

- electricity (the first public supply was in 1881): steam power stations, gas turbines and oil engines ( 80%), nuclear plants (18%), hydro-electric plants manufacturing; - metals (iron, steel and non-ferrous industry);

- the mechanical engineering industry (non-electrical machinery, machine tools, industrial engines;

- the electrical and electronic engineering industry (motors, telecommunications and broadcasting equipment, electronic equipment and systems);

- the motor vehicle (Ford, Chrysler, Rover, etc);

- aerospace industry (civil and military aircraft, helicopters, aero-engines, guided weapons, space vehicles);

- shipbuilding;

- the chemical industry (chemicals, soap, detergents, dyestuffs, fertilizers, mineral oil refining);

- the textile industry (cotton, wool); - leather and footwear industry;

- the food, drink and tobacco industries;

- the pottery industry;

- paper and board manufacture.



Agriculture supplies nearly 2/3s of the country's food. The cool temperature climate and the comparatively even distribution of rainfall contribute favorably to the development of agriculture. Most of the lands is owned by big landlords. Farmers rent the land and hire agricultural workers to cultivate it. Part of the land belongs to banks, insurance companies.

Britain is self-sufficient in milk, eggs, meat, potatoes, wheat. However she needs to import butter, cheese, sugar, and some other agricultural products. Britain's second source of food is the surrounding sea. The fishing industry provides about 70% of British fish supplies Forestry. Woodland covers about 9% of the total land area of the country. Britain imports 90% of its timber needs from Scandinavia and ex-USSR countries.



Passenger and freight traffic is carried mainly by road. Railways, pipelines and inland waterways are important in carrying certain types of freight, particularly bulk goods. The railway and much of the bus industry are state owned, but road haulage is almost entirely in the hands of private enterprises. Today the railway network is 18000 km long, of which about 4000 km are electrified. There are underground railway services in three British cities: London, Glasgow, and Liverpool. The most ambitious project is the English Tunnel - a fixed railway link across the English Channel between Britain and France. Today the inland waterways of Britain are experiencing a considerable revival of interest in the use for recreation, freight-carrying and for their contribution to the environment. They play an important part in land drainage and water supply. Almost all of Britain's trade is handled at a comparatively small number of ports. Most of these are old established and have been involved in trade for several hundred years.

The most striking development in the field of transport in recent years has been the growth of air traffic. Airline services are operated by British Airways and by a number of independent airlines. Their fleets contain modem types of equipment and international services are operated to Europe, the Middle East, the Far East, Australia, Africa and North America.

London is served by two major airports - Heathrow and Gatwick. Of these, Heathrow is far more important and dominant among other British airports.



Overseas trade presents a combination of export and import. In exports manufactured goods include machinery, transport equipment, chemicals, petroleum, in imports - different manufactured goods, food and crude oil (petroleum).

An important part of overseas trade consists of what are called 'invisible exports'. These are not actual goods, but they represent services paid for by foreigners. Tourism, organized by what is usually called the tourist industry, is an important part of this group: it involves accomodatating, catering and providing transport for the millions of foreigners who spend money on holidays in Britain. Another part is represented by services of the large insurance companies. Other invisible exports include the services to foreigners of British bankers. Engineers, scientists and technical experts of many kinds



Regional differences in the country's economy are essential despite its small territory. Historically England proper is divided into the following economic regions: the South Industrial and Agricultural region, Central England, or the Midlands, Lancashire, Yorkshire and North England. [Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland are also regarded as independent economic regions of the UK. Hence, the whole country consists of eight economic regions.

One of the main problems to emerge in Britain during the 20th century has been the imbalance of economic activity between individual regions. This has been the result of the decline of the traditional industrial structure, based largely on the coalfields and its replacement by a new structure more closely related to accessibility and transport network. Hence, such regions as South England and the Midlands are in a more favorable position than Wales, Scotland and N. Ireland.


Lecture 6

Mass Media


1.1 Television

1.2 Radio


2.1 Newspapers

2.2 Magazines



Television in the UK is made up of two chartered public broadcasting companies, the BBC and Channel 4 and two franchised commercial television companies, (ITV and Five). There are five major free-to-air analogue networks: BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five.

The BBC is funded by public money from a television licence fee gathered from all UK households with a television set. This fee is legally compulsory and failure to pay it is punishable by prosecution, resulting in a fine or imprisonment. There are exceptions to paying, for homes with a pensioner (person over 65 years old). It is cheaper for those with a black & white TV or eyesight that is impaired. It is currently set at £135.50 , but is not set in stone. The fee chargeable is limited by the government and regulatory authorities. The BBC provides two analogue networks, BBC One (consisting of a network of local BBC stations) and BBC Two.

Channel 4 is similarly chartered to the BBC, with a remit to provide public service broadcasting and schools programmes, however it runs commercial advertisements to provide a revenue stream.

The commercial operators rely on advertising for their revenue, and are run as commercial ventures, in contrast to the public service operators. (ITV1, Five)

Besides broadcasters provide additional networks on the digital television service, and all of these channels can be accessed via a cable or satellite provider, such as Virgin Media or BSkyB.

In the UK the BBC has eight digital networks:

BBC One (also available on analogue)

BBC Two (also available on analogue)

BBC Three

BBC Four

BBC Parliament

BBC News 24

CBBC Channel


ITV has six digital networks:

ITV1 (also available on analogue)




ITV Play

CITV Channel

Channel 4 has four digital networks:

Channel 4 (also available on analogue)



Film Four

Five has three digital networks:

Five (also available on analogue)

Five Life

Five US

All four of the mentioned broadcasters also have interactive services on digital.

65% of households in 2005/06 received some digital television service.


There are many hundreds of radio stations in the UK, the most prominent of which are the national networks operated by the BBC. Recent advances in digital radio technology have enabled the launch of several new stations by the Corporation.

BBC Radio 1 broadcasts pop music output on FM and digital radio, with live music throughout the year

BBC Radio 2 is the UK's most listened to radio station, featuring presenters Terry Wogan and Jonathan Ross, with a mix of music from the last thirty years

BBC Radio 3 is a serious classical station, broadcasting high-quality concerts and performances. At night, it transmits a wide range of jazz and world music

BBC Radio 4 is a current affairs and speech station, with news, debate and radio drama. It broadcasts the daily radio soap The Archers, as well as flagship news programme Today

BBC Radio Five Live broadcasts live news and sports commentary with phone-in debates and studio guests

BBC 6 Music transmits predominantly alternative rock, with many live sessions. Phill Jupitus presents the morning show

BBC 1Xtra broadcasts rap, RnB and drum'n'bass

BBC 7 uses the BBC's large archive of speech programming to broadcast classic comedy and drama, mainly originally from Radio 4

The BBC also provide 40 local radio services, mainly broadcasting a mix of local news and music aimed at an older audience.

Also available nationally are three national commercial channels, namely Virgin Radio, Classic FM and talkSPORT. As with the BBC, digital radio has brought about many changes, including the roll-out of local stations (particularly those based in London) to a national audience. Examples of this are Kiss 100 and Xfm. Commercial radio licences are awarded by government body Ofcom, which advertises a licence for a specific area and holds a so-called beauty contest to determine which station will be granted permission to broadcast in that area. Stations submit detailed application documents containing their proposed format and the outcome of research to determine the demand for their particular style of broadcast.

Most local commercial stations in the UK broadcast to a city or group of towns within a radius of 20-50 miles, with a second tier of regional stations covering larger areas such as North West England. The predominant format is pop music, but many other tastes are also catered for, particularly in London and the larger cities, and on digital radio.

Rather than operating as independent entities, many local radio stations are owned by large radio groups which broadcast a similar format to many areas. The largest operator of radio stations is GCap Media with over 40 local commercial stations, mainly of the smaller variety. It also owns Classic FM and London's most popular commercial station, Capital FM. Other owners are Emap, holding mainly large city stations in the North of England and Chrysalis Group, owner of the major Heart and Galaxy brands.

Many of these stations, including all the BBC radio, are also available via digital television services.




In the beginning of the 17th century the right to print was strictly controlled in England. This was probably the reason why the first newspaper in English language was printed in Amsterdam by Joris Veseler around 1620.

The Civil War escalated the demand for news. News-pamphlets or books reported the war, often supporting one side or the other. Following the Restoration there arose a number of publications, including the London Gazette (first published on November 16, 1665 as the Oxford Gazette), the first official journal of record and the newspaper of the Crown.

There were 12 London newspapers and 24 provincial papers by the 1720s (the Daily Courant was the 1st London newspaper).

By the early 19th century there were 52 London papers and over 100 other titles. The Daily Universal Register began life in 1785 and was later to become known as The Times from 1788. This was the most significant newspaper of the first half of the 19th century, but from around 1860 there were a number of more strongly competitive titles, each differentiated by its political biases and interests.

The Manchester Guardian was founded in Manchester in 1821 by a group of non-conformist businessmen. Its most famous editor, Charles Prestwich Scott, made the Manchester Guardian into a world-famous newspaper in the 1890s. It is now called The Guardian.

At the same time there was the establishment of more specialized periodicals and the first cheap newspaper in the Daily Telegraph and Courier (1855), later to be known simply as the Daily Telegraph.

From 1860 until around 1910 is considered a 'golden age' of newspaper publication, with technical advances in printing and communication combined with a professionalization of journalism and the prominence of new owners. Newspapers became more partisan and there was the rise of new or yellow journalism. Socialist and labour newspapers also proliferated and in 1912 the Daily Herald was launched as the first daily newspaper of the trade union and labour movement.

After World War I the newspaper industry took on an appearance similar to today's. The post-war period was marked by the emergence of tabloid newspapers (or red tops.

Newspapers are now going online as well with their own websites and with the ever increasing pressure to reduce waste in the UK and paper and ink cost rising it will not be far off when all newspapers will become electronic only using the internet and e-paper as ways to publish. This rise in costs made one UK media group to publish the UK first online only recognized local newspaper. It was the Southport Reporter and it went online fully in 2000 as an online only publication from day one. This type of local newspaper could spell the move for all local newspapers in the UK to publish only on the internet.


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 1486

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