Kilborn R (1996) New contexts for documentary production in Britain. Media, Culture and Society, 18 (1), pp. 141-150. https://doi.org/10.1177/016344396018001009
First paragraph: The history of moving image production and exhibition has been strongly marked by the documentary tendency, that desire to capture on film the sights and sounds of the world 'out there' and to shape these into sequences which will capture the attention of a viewing public. In the course of its historical development, as with any other media format, particular associations began to accrue around the documentary mode. There was an expectation, for instance, that documentaries would be relatively sober, if not serious, in their approach and that they would often afford viewers new insights into the socio-political world (Nichols, 1991: 3-31). Documentaries - particularly those belonging to the Griersonian tradition - thus acquired the reputation of being artifacts with a clear social purpose and even a democratizing function.
Media, Culture and Society: Volume 18, Issue 1