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Download An Introductory History of British Broadcasting (1997) by Andrew Crisell PDF

By Andrew Crisell

This is often an obtainable and concise heritage of British radio and tv. The ebook considers the character and evolution of broadcasting, the expansion of broadcasting associations and the relation of broadcasting to a much wider political and social context. starting with the genesis of radio on the flip of the century, Crisell discusses key moments in media background from the 1st instant broadcast in 1920 to the current. Key subject matters lined contain: * The institution of the BBC in 1927 * the final strike, notions of public carrier broadcasting and the cultural values of the BBC * Broadcasting in wartime * The heyday of radio within the Forties and Fifties and the increase of tv * BBC2, Channel four and minority tv * The altering function of radio in a tv age * The convergence of broadcasting and different media * destiny concerns for broadcasting.

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The Great War had been followed by economic problems which some employers, notably the mine owners, sought to mitigate by imposing wage cuts on the workforce. The trade unions reacted by calling a general strike, which lasted from the 3rd to the 12th of May 1926 and paralysed the country’s essential services. Since most of the press was affected the restrictions on the BBC’s news coverage were temporarily lifted: it was allowed – indeed needed – to report the strike; and therein lay its dilemma.

What they perhaps underestimated was the durability of their products as against the evanescence of radio’s, for broadcasting actually stimulated record sales. The BBC played relatively few records but it did broadcast live performances of many songs which, initially at least, were not available on disc. The companies were then able to offer contracts to the artists who performed them – and the public would buy their records on the strength of what they had heard on the air. Thus radio helped to create the record-based star system, for ‘stardom’ came to be defined not so much by popularity in the music halls or the sheet-music sales of songs as by popularity on the wireless and the sales of records.

In pre-war Britain universal education ended when children reached the age of about 14. Those temples of high art, the concert halls, opera-houses and theatres, were beyond the pockets of the great mass of people, and within the tiny minority who underwent higher education there was much more consensus than there is today about what in cultural terms was good, significant or worthwhile. Wireless was a new, and in terms of the number of frequencies available, a relatively scarce medium. Its potential was huge: in these early years nobody was sure what it could or could not do.

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