Lecture 3 ? 9/10 Origins of US Broadcasting We begin with radio? TV develops out of radio Broadcasting technologies are not inherently commercial Public systems Conflict over what radio would be Radio?s potential Broadcasting considered very powerful Progressives Broadcasting as useful social tool BUT must be controlled/regulated Distrust of the masses Masses are persuadable, but if they were given free reign, they would produce crap Trust in government, technology to fix society Struggle over airwaves Amateurs Dxing ? seeing how far a signal will reach Radio a two-way device ?Chaos of the air? Interfering signals Jumping frequencies No rhyme or reason for regulation Technological Social Radio Act of 1912 Creates licensing system Gives priority to military and big business Imposed penalties for going against policy of anti-interference RESULT: Amateurs pushed out ? ends free speech of the radio Radio Act of 1927 Federal Radio Commission (FRC) Regulates access, assigns frequencies Determine how far certain signals can go, creates boundaries Establishes standards (distance, time, cost of license) Beginnings of scheduling Renews licenses Becomes Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 1934 PICON standard Public Interest, Convenience, or Necessity Allows FRC (FCC) to regulate content BUT ? what is ?public interest?? Public needs? Wants? Formation of RCA 1910?s: British Marconi dominates American radio WWI: US Navy takes control of American airwaves, as well as many of the stations that Marconi?s company has built After WWI: US wants to keep control Government supports a monopoly in order to maintain control Government creates Radio Commission of America (RCA) in 1919 Subsidiary of GE US owned and operated Partners: GE, AT&T, Westinghouse, Western Electric, United Fruit Company Patent ?pooling? AT&T: transmitters GE and Westinghouse: receivers All could broadcast How to profit? Revenue generated through sales of radio sets Programming developed to encourage sales 1920: Westinghouse launches their first radio station KDKA Pittsburgh What about AT&T? AT&T didn?t have sets to sell Pursued broadcasting ? ?toll broadcasting? 1922: WEAF New York Airtime available to anyone willing to pay Uses phone lines to link stations into a network The Original Broadcaster Farmer that rolled contraption that spread many seeds over great distances Broadcasting sending signals without wires Who pays for radio? Public system (Government) Government unsure it wants to get involved Industry wants profit Commercial System (Ad revenue) Reformers worried about corrupting influence Industry afraid to upset audiences Audiences don?t want to be sold to it Commercialization Wins Strengthens small stations Doesn?t bother audiences Doesn?t involve the government Doesn?t threaten radio corporations By 1928: ad revenue the primary source of funding
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