Disintegration? 1960–70

Simon J. Potter

in Broadcasting Empire

Published in print July 2012 | ISBN: 9780199568963
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741821 | DOI:
Disintegration? 1960–70

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As Director-General, Hugh Carleton Greene encouraged the BBC to become more adventurous at home and more commercial overseas. Experimentation and commercialization made the BBC a more dynamic presence in the Commonwealth, but undermined the power of public broadcasting to resist Americanization. This chapter explores the role played by broadcasting in the broader British adjustment to the loss of empire. As decolonization proceeded apace, and more African and Asian countries entered the Commonwealth, the idea of using broadcasting to connect up the British diaspora died. Although the BBC continued to broadcast to the Commonwealth (the short-wave World Service was supplemented by the use of new cable and satellite communications technologies), and to export programmes in increasing quantity, its overseas operations were stripped of their imperial and Britannic purpose. Connections with organisations like the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) remained, but were presented in terms of international rather than imperial cooperation.

Keywords: Hugh Carleton Greene; Americanization; commercialization; Commonwealth; decolonization; World Service; New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation

Chapter.  17878 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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