Simon J. Potter

in Broadcasting Empire

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199568963
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741821 | DOI:

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This chapter outlines the BBC's role in the British empire and, specifically, in a British world that encompassed Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The BBC devised an overseas mission for itself during a period of imperial decline, and against a background of increasing American overseas influence that resulted in fears of ‘Americanization’. The chapter examines how contemporaries hoped to harness broadcasting as a means to compensate for the loss of British overseas economic and military power. It sketches out the broader histories of imperial communication and the British world; of ideas about the BBC and Britishness; and of the concept of cultural imperialism. It relates the history of broadcasting and empire to recent historiographical debates about the impact of empire on British culture and identity.

Keywords: broadcasting; British world; British empire; Britain; Australia; Canada; New Zealand; South Africa; Americanization; cultural imperialism

Chapter.  8942 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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