An Introductory History of British Broadcasting by Andrew Crisell

By Andrew Crisell

An Introductory background of British Broadcasting is a concise and available background of British radio and tv. It starts with the beginning of radio before everything of the 20th century and discusses key moments in media background, from the 1st instant broadcast in 1920 via to contemporary advancements in electronic broadcasting and the net. Distinguishing broadcasting from other forms of mass media, and comparing the way audiences have skilled the medium, Andrew Crisell considers the character and evolution of broadcasting, the expansion of broadcasting associations and the relation of broadcasting to a much broader political and social context. This absolutely up to date and extended moment version contains: *the most recent advancements in electronic broadcasting and the web *broadcasting in a multimedia period and its customers for the long run *the thought of public carrier broadcasting and its altering function in an period of interactivity, a number of channels and pay consistent with view *an review of modern political pressures at the BBC and ITV duopoly *a timeline of key broadcasting occasions and annotated recommendation on additional analyzing.

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The person who was appointed general manager was an austere Scot of Calvinist upbringing, a thirty-four-year-old engineer named John Reith. When he applied for the post he scarcely knew what broadcasting was, yet through energy and force of personality he shaped it according to a moral vision whose traces are discernible even today. Reith soon formed the conclusion that broadcasting was a precious national resource – too precious to be used merely to deliver audiences to advertisers or even to wireless manufacturers.

But geography conspired with technology to make tight regulation even more necessary in Britain. Europe, scarcely as big as the United States, accommodated over a dozen different countries, each speaking its own language and wanting its own broadcasting frequencies. As the mere offshore island of this cacophonic subcontinent Britain would have to content itself with a very limited share of the waveband. The Post Office could not allow its few available frequencies to be permanently monopolized by a handful of the manufacturers, yet had to accept that there would never be enough frequencies to license every manufacturer who wished to broadcast.

In 1923 the Postmaster General appointed a committee under Major General Sir Frederick Sykes to review the company’s finances. Impressed even at this early stage by the quality of its programmes the committee declared that broadcasting was ‘of great national importance as a medium for the performance of a valuable public service’ (Sykes 1923:13) and rejected advertising as a possible source of revenue on the ground that it would lower standards. Instead the committee recommended a single licence fee of ten shillings, three quarters of which should go to the company.

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