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The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

Asa Briggs

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780192129260
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191670008 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780192129260.001.0001
The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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This is the first part of a five-volume history of broadcasting in the UK. Together the volumes give an authoritative account of the rise of broadcasting in this country. Though naturally largely concerned with the BBC it does give a general history of broadcasting, not simply an institutional history of the BBC. This volume covers early amateur experiments in wireless telephony in America and in England, the pioneer days at Writtle in Essex and elsewhere, and the coming of organised broadcasting and its rapid growth during the first four years of the BBC's existence as a private company before it became a public corporation in January 1927. The book describes how and why the company was formed, the scope of its activities and the reasons which led to its conversion from a business enterprise into a national institution. The issues raised between 1923 and 1927 remain pertinent today. The hard bargaining between the Post Office, private wireless interests, and the emergent British Broadcasting Company is discussed in illuminating detail, together with the remarkable opposition with which the company had to contend in its early days. Many sections of the opposition, including a powerful section of the press, seemed able to conceive of broadcasting only as competing with their own interests, never as complementing or enlarging them. One of the main themes of this volume is that of the gradual forging of the instruments of public control, and particular attention is paid to the Crawford Report (1926) from which the BBC arose. During this period all the characteristics of the BBC first appeared — particularly its reputation for public service and impartiality. The book also examines the background of wireless as an invention and considers its impact on society. It has much to say about personalities and programmes as well as policies.

Keywords: broadcasting; BBC; Writtle; Crawford Report; public service; impartiality; wireless

Book.  434 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Broadcasting and Society in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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Discovery and Prophecy in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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From Radio-Telephony to Broadcasting in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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Amateurs and Professionals in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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The American Boom in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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Writtle and its Rivals in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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The Post Office Proposes in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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The Manufacturers Confer in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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Negotiations Continue in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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The Company is Formed in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom, Volume I

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