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

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By Andrew Crisell

This is often an obtainable and concise background of British radio and tv. The publication considers the character and evolution of broadcasting, the expansion of broadcasting associations and the relation of broadcasting to a much broader political and social context. starting with the genesis of radio on the flip of the century, Crisell discusses key moments in media heritage from the 1st instant broadcast in 1920 to the current. Key subject matters coated comprise: * The institution of the BBC in 1927 * the overall strike, notions of public carrier broadcasting and the cultural values of the BBC * Broadcasting in wartime * The heyday of radio within the Nineteen 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 matters for broadcasting.

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The restriction was lifted when the company became a corporation, and thereafter such national events as the Derby, the Cup Final and the Boat Race were successfully covered. Educational, features and documentary programmes Most of the BBC’s educational programmes were for schools. These ranged from attempts at direct teaching – the giving of on-air lessons – to storyreadings and dramatizations whose didactic aims were rather more oblique. Schools broadcasts had begun in 1924, when they were received by 220 schools.

What is certain is that his restlessness came to the notice of the government, by whom he was instructed to take the chair at Imperial Airways. Yet even though his departure from the BBC was pretty well inevitable, not least because Reith himself appeared to want it, the manner of that departure was 25 The phenomenon of broadcasting characteristically painful. Reith rightly felt that his new job would not be so central to the life of the nation, he was excluded from the deliberations as to who his successor at the BBC should be, and his hope of joining the Board of Governors was thwarted by some of its members on the not unreasonable ground that he would make life impossible for his successor.

It explained what was happening and what the citizen could do, but not why the strike came about. The company was twice humiliated by the government, first when its attempt to bring a union leader to the microphone was vetoed, and second when it was bullied into refusing to broadcast a peace formula devised by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Nevertheless it achieved much. The tone in which it reported the strike was cheerful and conciliatory throughout. Furthermore its perspective on events was never wholly identified with the government’s.

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