Newspapers

Title and foundation date:

National dailies 'Popular' Daily Express (1900) Daily Mail (1896) Daily Minor (1903) Daily Star (1966) The Sun (1964) Today (1986) 'Qualities' Financial Times (1886) The Daily Telegraph (1885) The Guardian (1821) The Independent (1986) The Times (1785)   National Sundays 'Popular' News of the World (1843) Sunday Express (1918) Sunday Minor (1963) Sunday Sport (1986) The Mail of Sunday (1982) The People (1881) 'Qualities' Sunday Telegraph (1961) The Observer (1791) The Sunday Times (1822) The Sunday Correspondent (1989)  

TV and Radio. Broadcasting in the United Kingdom is controlled by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Independent Television Commission (ITС). The BBC receives its income from the government, but the private companies are controlled by the ITС which replaced in 1991 the IBA.

National radio is controlled by the BBC, and listeners can choose between four stations. Radio 1 is a pop-music station with news and magazine-style programmes. Radio 2 plays light music and reports on sport. Radio 3 plays classical music, and Radio 4 has news programmes, drama and general interest programmes. There are many local stations, some private and some run by the BBC. Their programmes consist mainly of music and local news.

The BBC has two TV channels. BBC 2 has more serious programmes and news features. There is a break for advertisements about every 15—20 minutes. The IBA is responsible for looking after the regional independent TV companies who broadcast their own programmes and those they have bought from other regions. The most recent independent channel is Channel 4, and it has more specialized programmes than the main channels. In general, people think the programmes offered on British television are of a very high standard. Some people, however, are becoming worried about the amount of violence on TV, and the effect this may have on young people.

TV and radio are also two of the main teaching channels used by the Open University. This ‘university of the air’ allows many thousands of students to study at home for degrees they never would have obtained in the main educational system. They also have to do without sleep as most of their programmes are broadcast early in the morning or late at night.

‘Top of the Pops' is a programme that has been shown every week on BBC TV for many years. Each week computers in a number of record-shops throughout the United Kingdom show how many copies of a record have been sold that week. The new chart, issued each Tuesday evening, shows which singles have sold the most copies during the previous week. With this information, the show's producers decide which songs will be played. Usually it will be those moving up the charts, or the new releases which the disc jockeys (usually called DJs) think win be ‘hits’. Of соurse, each week the show finishes with the number one single. Bands either appear to live in the studio, or in a video recording made especially to sell the record. These videos have become so important in the last few years that they can help to make a record a hit.

 

SPORTS AND LEISURE

Footballhas been called the most popular game in the world, and it certainly has a great many fans in Britain. Association football (or soccer) is the game that is played in nearly all countries. A team is composed of a goalkeeper, two backs, three half-backs and five forwards. There is another game called rugby football, so called because it originated at Rugby, a well-known English public school. In this game the Players may carry the ball. There is also an American kind of football, different from the other two. The captain of the team is usually the oldest or best player.

Association football, or soccer, remains one of the most popular games played in the British Isles. Every Saturday from late August until me beginning of May, large crowds of support their sides in football grounds up and down the country, while an almost equally large number of people play the game in club teams of every imaginable variety and level of skill. Over the last 20 years though, the attendance at football matches has fallen away sharply. This is because of changing lifestyles and football hooligans. As violence at and near the football grounds increased, there was an ever-increasing tendency for people to stay away, leaving the grounds to football fans.

Today, many people are interested in football because of the pools and the chances of winning a lot of money. The English have never been against a gamble though most of them know where to draw the line and wisely re­frain from betting too often. Since the war the most popular form of gambling is no doubt that of staking a small sum on the football pools. (The word 'pool' is connected with the picture of streams of money pouring into a common fund, or 'pool' from which the winners are paid after the firm has taken its expense and profit).

The Cup Final at Wembley remains an event of national importance. The final of the football competition takes place every May at the famous Wembley stadium in London. Some of the best known clubs in England are Manchester United, Liverpool and the Arsenal. In Scotland either Rangers, Celtic or Aberdeen usually win the cup or the championship.

Cricket. People who live in England, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or the West Indies learn how to play cricket at school. English people love cricket. Summer isn't summer without it. Even if you do not understand the rules, it is attractive to watch the players dressed in white playing on the beautiful green cricket fields. Every Sunday morning from May to the end of September many Englishmen get up very early, and take a lot of sandwiches with them. It is necessary because the games are very long. Games be­tween two village teams last for only one afternoon. Games between counties last for three days, with б ho­urs play on each day. When En­gland plays with one or other cri­cketing countries such as Australia and New Zealand it is called a test match and lasts for five days. Cricket is played in schools, colleges and universities and in most towns and villages by teams which play weekly games. Test matches with other cricketing countries are held annually.

Cricket is also played by women and girls. The govern­ing body is Women's Cricket Association, founded in1926. Women's cricket clubs have regular weekend games. Test matches and other international matches take place. The women's World Cup is held every four years.

Cricket is played by two teams of 11 each. One team must bat and the other team must field. When the first team fin­ished batting, the second team must begin. The batsman must all the time guard his 'wicket’, three rather ridiculous pieces of wood which are pushed into the ground. The game is very slow.

In many ways this is the most English of all sports. It is a game for a hot June day with a slight breeze and the feel­ing that there is no hurry in the world.

 

RELIGION

Barely 16 percent of the adult population of Britain belongs to one of the Christain Churches. And this proportion continues to decline . Yet the regional variation is revealing. In England only 12 percent of the adult population are members of a church. The further one travels from London, however the greater the attendance: in Wales 22 percent and in Northern Ireland no fewer than 75 percent .

Today there is complete freedom of practice, regardless of religion or sect. However, until the mid-nineteenth century, those who did not belonged to the Church of England, the official “established” or state church, were barred from some public offices. The established church still plays a powerful role in national life, in spite of the relatively few people who are active members of it.

There are two established or state churches in Britain: the church of England , or Anglican Church as it is also called, and the Church of Scotland.

As Head of the Church of England , the monarch appoints the archbishops, bishops and deans of the Church, on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, who might well not be an Anglican. The Prime Minister makes a recommendation from two nominee candidates, put forward by a special Crown Appointments Commission ( composed by bishops, clergy and lay members of the Church ).

The most senior spiritual leaders of the Church of England are the Archbishop of Canterbury, who is “Primate of all England”, and the Archbishop of York, who is “Primate of England”. They are head of the two ecclesiastical provinces of England, Canterbury and York.

In Scotland the Church, or Kirk, vehemently rejected the idea of bishops, following a more Calvinist Protestant tradition. Its churches are plain. There is no altar, only a table, and the emphasis is on the pulpit, where the Gospel is preached.

The Kirk is more democratic than the Anglican Church. Although each Kirk is assigned a minister, it also elect its own “elders”. The minister and one of these elders represent the Kirk at the regional presbyrety. Each of the 46 presbyrities of Scotland elects two commissioners to represent it at the principal governing body of the Church, the General Assembly. Each year the commissioners meet in the General Assembly, and elect a Moderator to chair the General Assembly for that year. Unlike the of Church of England, the Church of Scotland is subject neither to the Crown nor to Parliament, and takes pride in its independence from state authority, for which it fought in the sixteen and seventeenths centuries. In keeping with its democratic nature, it admits women as well as men to the ministry.

The main defining components of ethnicity in the Northern Ireland are religious and political affiliation. In general, Catholics/ nationalists regard themselves as Irish, and Protestants/unionists regard themselves as British.

The1991 census recorded Catholics as 38 percent of the population. However, 7 percent of the population declined to identify a religious affiliation. Therefore, most demographers agree that Catholics actually represent about 41 percent of the population. The largest Protestant groups are Presbyterians (21 percent of the total population), followed by the Anglican members of the Church of Ireland (18 percent), and Methodists (4 percent). Of the remaining 16 percent of the population, about half belong to other Protestant denominations, often of a fundamentalist and strongly political character influenced by American evangelicalism. Several of these denominations have grown in membership since the 1960s. the remaining 8 percent of the people are either members of non-Christian religions or claim no religious affiliation.

The Church of Scotland, a Presbyterian denomination, is the official state church. The Roman Catholic church is second in importance. Other leading denominations are the Episcopal Church in Scotland, Congregationalist, Baptist, Methdist, and Unitarian. Jews are a small minority.

The Church of England, a Protestant Episcopal denomination, is the state church and the nominal church of nearly three-fifths of the population. The denomination next in importance is the Roman Catholic church, which has about 6 million members in England. Among the numerous Protestant denominations are the Methodist, Baptist, Congregationalist, Unitarian, and Society of Friends. England also has thousands of Muslims and Jews. Large communities of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs have immigrated to England since the 1950s.

The Church of England was the established church of Wales and England until 19206 when it was disestablished in Wales. The Welsh branch of the Church of England is the faith of about 110,000 Welsh. The next largest religious body, with about 72,800 adherents, is the Calvinistic Methdist church, known as the Presbyterian Church of Wales.

 

Control questions:

1 Social and private life.

2 National traditions and customs of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

3 Mass media: TV and radio agencies, “serious” and “popular” press.

4. Painting (Sir Joshua Reynolds, John Constable).









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