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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 communique may well make amends for British imperial decline. In Broadcasting Empire, Simon J. Potter indicates 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, recreation, or even comedy have been harnessed to this finish, fairly at the BBC Empire provider, the predecessor of cutting-edge global carrier. Belatedly, in the course of the Nineteen Fifties, the BBC additionally started to contemplate the function of broadcasting in Africa and Asia, as a way to motivate 'development' and to wrestle resistance to persevered colonial rule. in spite of the fact that, in the course of 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 research to check either the house and in a foreign country elements of the BBC's imperial challenge. Drawing on new archival facts, it demonstrates how the BBC's family and imperial roles, whereas possible specific, in truth exerted a strong effect over each other. Broadcasting Empire makes a tremendous 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 info for Broadcasting Empire: The BBC and the British World, 1922-1970

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On Empire Day, 1923, Australian private broadcasters 32 Patrick Day, A History of Broadcasting in New Zealand, i, The Radio Years (Auckland, 1994), 48–66. 33 New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, 208, 25 September 1925, 849–51. 34 Day, History of Broadcasting in New Zealand, i, 67–90, 104. Diversity 29 met at a conference in Sydney to work out how to make radio pay. While loudly proclaiming their loyalty to the crown and empire, they disregarded the Australian postmaster-general’s advice that they heed the ‘satisfactory arrangement’ reached in Britain.

Everything definitely vulgar or hurtful must of course be avoided . . Popularity must not be sought in ways where it is soonest found . . 17 Nevertheless, Reith was clearly a product of his own time. Early twentieth-century cultivated elites claimed that a new, commercialized mass culture threatened to engulf Britain in a wave of materialistic, titillating, sentimental, often American, dross. Cinema, popular newspapers, and gramophone recordings were the carriers of the disease. The cure was active promotion of forms of culture that appealed to the intellect and imagination, or so it was claimed.

59 Stephen Constantine, ‘Migrants and Settlers’, in Judith M. Brown and Wm. ), OHBE, iv, The Twentieth Century (Oxford, 1999), 173. 60 Stephen Constantine, ‘Anglo-Canadian Relations, the Empire Marketing Board and Canadian National Autonomy between the Wars’, JICH, 21/2 (May 1993), 357–84. 38 Broadcasting Empire Despite publicly proclaiming its imperial role from an early stage, in practice the BBC initially paid more attention to establishing links with broadcasters in the US and Europe.

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