By Simon J. Potter
Broadcasting was once born simply because the British empire reached its maximum territorial volume, and matured whereas that empire started to get to the bottom of. Radio and tv provided contemporaries the beguiling prospect that new applied sciences of mass verbal exchange may perhaps make amends for British imperial decline. In Broadcasting Empire, Simon J. Potter exhibits how, from the Nineteen Twenties, the BBC used broadcasting to unite audiences at domestic with the British settler diaspora in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. excessive tradition, royal ceremonial, activity, or even comedy have been harnessed to this finish, rather at the BBC Empire provider, the predecessor of trendy international provider. Belatedly, throughout the Fifties, the BBC additionally started to give some thought to the function of broadcasting in Africa and Asia, as a method to motivate 'development' and to wrestle resistance to persisted colonial rule. in spite of the fact that, throughout the Nineteen Sixties, as decolonization entered its ultimate, speeded up section, the BBC staged its personal imperial retreat.
This is the 1st full-length, scholarly learn to ascertain either the house and in a foreign country features of the BBC's imperial venture. Drawing on new archival proof, it demonstrates how the BBC's household and imperial roles, whereas likely special, in truth exerted a strong effect over each other. Broadcasting Empire makes an incredible contribution to our figuring out of the transnational historical past of broadcasting, emphasising geopolitical rivalries and tensions among British and American makes an attempt to exert effect at the world's radio and tv systems.
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Additional resources for Broadcasting Empire: The BBC and the British World, 1922-1970
England has obviously given up all idea of governing India . . It would be interesting to trace the development of the democratic inferiority complex in Imperial affairs, from quite small beginnings, just a few men here and there beginning to yield, and far too much lip service prematurely to democratic methods. 55 Reith’s desire for such ‘coordination’ was a response to the ambiguities that characterized the relationship between Britain and the dominions during the 1920s. After the First World War, and particularly at the Imperial Conferences of 1923 and 1926, policymakers in Britain and the dominions agreed to abandon the idea of unitary foreign and defence policies for the entire empire.
The press was eager to see radio established on a non-commercial, and thus non-competing, basis. GPO officials regarded a broadcasting monopoly as a convenient and efficient solution to the problems of waveband scarcity and regulation. 13 This reflected the terms under which the wireless companies had formed their combine, and the influence of John Reith, the young Scottish engineer appointed as the first general manager (later directorgeneral). Reith championed the idea of public service in order to maintain the broad consensus upon which the BBC’s continued existence depended.
W. H. Clark to Lord Passfield, 19 March 1930, UKNA, DO35/228/2. Mary Vipond, Listening In: The First Decade of Canadian Broadcasting, 1922–1932 (Montreal, 1992), 217–24. 34 Broadcasting Empire How would the blank spaces on the empire’s broadcasting canvas be filled? And would the varied elements of the picture ever form a harmonious whole? Did the BBC have a coordinating role to play? Much depended upon future developments in the rapidly changing world of radio, and these remained hard to predict.