Radio, Television and Society

By Charles A. Siepmann | Go to book overview

IV
THE RADIO INDUSTRY
'

Capacity for the nobler feelings is in most natures a very tender plant, easily killed, not only by hostile influences, but by mere want of sustenance; and in the majority of young persons it speedily dies away if the occupations to which their position in life has devoted them, and the society into which it has thrown them, are not favorable to keeping the higher capacity in exercise. Men lose their high aspirations as they lose their intellectual tastes, because they have not time or opportunity for indulging them; and they addict themselves to inferior pleasures, not because they deliberately prefer them, but because they are either the only ones to which they have access, or the only ones which they are any longer capable of enjoying!

- J. S. MILL

THE advent of radio suggested such breathtaking possibilities that it was bound to arouse false hopes. Idealists have showered the industry with counsels of perfection. More sober critics have blamed it for not realizing the opportunities within its grasp. The listening public, as a whole, has thanked it for furnishing the bare room of its existence with many decorative ornaments and some extremely useful household gadgets.

Ours is not a perfect system. As we have seen, it does not function even as its authors intended that it should. All three of its partners (the FCC, the industry, the public) have been, and remain, much at fault in the fulfillment of their respective roles. However, no remedy for what is wrong-and might be right-can

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