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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The history of public broadcasting in the British world should not be presented as a clash between imperialism and nationalism. Rather, a set of close and continuing relationships were established among public broadcasting authorities, characterised by both cooperation and conflict. Collaboration was limited in the 1930s, but became more effective in the 1940s and 1950s: there is no simple pattern of gradual disintegration. Partly, this was because the BBC seldom seemed to perpetrate the overwhelming ‘cultural imperialism’ that American media interests were later accused of. Its overseas presence was too weak. Similarly, the BBC failed to make domestic audiences empire- or Commonwealth-minded. The BBC was not an active agent of globalisation. Rather, it attempted to preserve the remnants of an earlier period of semi-globalisation, to reinforce a Victorian world-system that was crumbling under international and American pressure. The World Service is the frail legacy of this imperial mission.

Keywords: imperialism; nationalism; cultural imperialism; globalisation; World Service

Chapter.  3961 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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