An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

An Introductory History of British Broadcasting

Synopsis

This is an accessible and concise history of British radio and television. The book considers the nature and evolution of broadcasting, the growth of broadcasting institutions and the relation of broadcasting to a wider political and social context.Beginning with the genesis of radio at the turn of the century, Crisell discusses key moments in media history from the first wireless broadcast in 1920 to the present. Key topics covered include:* The establishment of the BBC in 1927* The general strike, notions of public service broadcasting and the cultural values of the BBC* Broadcasting in wartime* The heyday of radio in the 1940s and 1950s and the rise of television* BBC2, Channel 4 and minority television* The changing role of radio in a television age* The convergence of broadcasting and other media* Future issues for broadcasting

Excerpt

Many studies of broadcasting are characterized by searching analyses of media institutions, their cultural contexts, their ownership and social structure, their programming policies, and their relations with the state and with dominant ideologies; but the heart of the matter - the nature of the broadcasting process and the way in which audiences experience it - often seems to be missing. Relatively little note is taken of the actual character of radio and television, whose power to determine listenable and watchable content precedes anything that can be imposed by the institutions that provide them or the governments that seek to influence them.

This history takes the nature of broadcasting and the situation of the audience as its main focus, weaving a crowded chronology of events, facts, personalities and trends around a simple account of its technological evolution. Part I considers how broadcasting is distinguishable from the other modes of mass communication in being live and, for the most part, domestically or even individually received. Part II explores how in due course broadcasting began to be modified by a growth of audience activity, and Part III traces its gradual convergence, even integration, with other media, thus affording a convenient point to conclude our history. With television sets no longer used only for the reception of broadcasting but for home shopping, teletext, video and a variety of other things, we can blow the dust from a journalistic cliché and claim that we are, indeed, reaching ‘the end of an era’.

However I hope I need hardly add that in tracing the rise of an ‘active’ audience during the later part of the history, I am using this word in the

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