Organization: The Growth of an Institution

Asa Briggs

in The History of Broadcasting in the United Kingdom: Volume II: The Golden Age of Wireless

Published in print March 1995 | ISBN: 9780192129307
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670015 | DOI:

Series: History of Broadcasting

Organization: The Growth of an Institution

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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The chapter is concerned with the development of the BBC as a public corporation. The first Director-General of the BBC, Sir John Reith, told staff that ‘there is more in the BBC than just broadcasting’. It was made clear to them that public service in a public corporation was something very different from public service in the Civil Service. The BBC as an organization made its goal to be free of politics and, as far as possible, to be free of red tape. It needed a spirit of enterprise as well as a sense of duty coupled with the qualities of individualism and enterprise. The organizational set-up of the BBC became so successful that it was adopted by other organizations also in other countries.

Keywords: British Broadcasting Corporation; public corporation; Sir John Reith; public service; institution

Chapter.  39844 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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