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The Fallible Mind

Episode 4 of 5

David Hendy asks if watching revealing TV programmes has made us more obsessed with the private lives of others. Do unflinching close-ups on TV make us more compassionate?

The historian of broadcasting, David Hendy, explores the ways in which the electronic media have shaped the modern mind.
Two seminal TV programmes: the American drama Marty, broadcast in 1953, and the BBC's Face-to-Face, from 1960, used unflinching close-ups to reveal human beings as flawed individuals. Did they make us more compassionate - or just more obsessed with the private lives of others?

Producer Matt Thompson.

15 minutes

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