Saturday, 13 June 2015

This New Noise by Charlotte Higgins review

Title: This New Noise
Author: Charlotte Higgins
Published by: Faber and Faber
Publication date: 18th June 2015
Length: 288 pages
Genres: History, Contemporary, Educational, Entertainment
Format: Paperback, ebook
Source: ARC from Faber and Faber (thank you so much!)

Charlotte Higgins, the Guardian's chief culture writer, steps behind the polished doors of Broadcasting House and investigates the BBC. Based on her hugely popular essay series, this personal journey answers the questions that rage around this vulnerable, maddening and uniquely British institution. Questions such as, what does the BBC mean to us now? What are the threats to its continued existence? Is it worth fighting for?
Higgins traces its origins, celebrating the early pioneering spirit and unearthing forgotten characters whose imprint can still be seen on the BBC today. She explores how it forged ideas of Britishness both at home and abroad. She shows how controversy is in its DNA and brings us right up to date through interviews with grandees and loyalists, embattled press officers and high profile dissenters, and she sheds new light on recent feuds and scandals.
This is a deeply researched, lyrically written, intriguing portrait of an institution at the heart of Britain.

This book is the perfect gift for anyone who wants to work within the BBC. Actually, it's the perfect gift for anyone who even watches a BBC show, reads the BBC News, or listens to any BBC radio channel. For so long the BBC has just been there - I knew it existed, but I never new why, or what went into it's creation, and now it's (debated, in some circles) ever-present powerful status in the world.

This book opened by eyes completely to the world of the BBC, from where it all started to what brought it to the present day. What the BBC was like initially, and what, and who made it what it was today, hadn't really crossed my mind. So not only has reading this book enlightened me so much that I now actually know a substantial amount about a company that is a big part of my country's culture and history.

But Higgins has  made everything - decades of history - concise and interesting. I don't think I've ever read a non-fiction book that was so engaging and a real pleasure to read - I honestly couldn't put this down when I started reading it.

Even if you are only slightly interested in the BBC - you need to read this book. Not only will you finish it in days, hours even - because Higgins just makes the decades of history so much more interesting then it already is through her writing style, but the research is so well done that on every page there is a something that will catch your attention.

So not only has this book opened my eyes in so many ways, but I honestly believe that reading it has made me more equipped for any future work in the media industry - especially with the BBC. But you don't even have to be considering a job within the BBC to read this book. I honestly recommend this to anyone - regardless of your opinion on the company. Because 'This New Noise' is a fantastic and really interesting book about the history of the BBC, but it's so much more than that - it's a book that will leave you so much more knowledgeable after reading, about the BBC, the workings of the industry, and so much more - and I thank Higgins for writing it, because I feel like I'm much better off after reading it - and I might actually start reading a few more non-fiction books because of how great I found this book!



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