Radio, Television and Society

By Charles A. Siepmann | Go to book overview

XIII
TELEVISION

'ONE side,' said the caterpillar mysteriously, 'will make you grow taller, and the other side will make you grow shorter.' And when Alice, figuring out the reference, nibbled a piece from one side of the mushroom, she did indeed grow taller-and at a disconcerting pace. Her counterpart in our modern Wonderland has done the same, but, to the dismay of all concerned, it has not yet found its way to the mushroom's 'other side.' Television grows and grows and gets 'curiouser and curiouser.' To point at it is like pointing at a jet plane-it has passed out of sight while you raise an astonished finger.

All that follows, then, is written in water. We are concerned with a precocious, modern prodigy, whose vital statistics, here laboriously compiled, are out of date even as they are recorded. Television's present is already past; it has only a future. Prodigies, moreover, are notoriously unpredictable. Prognosis, therefore, is little better than idle speculation. 'Norms' of development are hilariously irrelevant. 'The simple but elusive fact is that it [television] is neither stable nor mature. Television is young, fluid, and unpredictable.'1

____________________
1
From an address by Oscar Katz, CBS Director of Research, at the seventh ( 1949) annual luncheon of The Pulse, Inc.

-317-

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Radio, Television and Society
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents vii
  • Part I - Radio in the U.S.: Early History, 1920-34 3
  • III - The Fcc in Action 24
  • IV - The Radio Industry 41
  • V - Rights and Duties of the Listener 69
  • Vl - The Listener in America 82
  • Part II 168
  • IX- Freedom of Speech: in Theory 201
  • X - Freedom of Speech: in Practice 218
  • XIII - Television 317
  • Appendix VI 384
  • Appendix VII 389
  • Index 399
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