Radio and Television Regulation: Broadcast Technology in the United States, 1920-1960

JHU Press, 19 oct 2000 - 308 páginas
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From AM radio to color television, broadcasting raised enormous practical and policy problems in the United States, especially in relation to the federal government's role in licensing and regulation. How did technological change, corporate interest, and political pressures bring about the world that station owners work within today (and that tuned-in consumers make profitable)? In Radio and Television Regulation, Hugh R. Slotten examines the choices that confronted federal agencies—first the Department of Commerce, then the Federal Radio Commission in 1927, and seven years later the Federal Communications Commission—and shows the impact of their decisions on developing technologies.

Slotten analyzes the policy debates that emerged when the public implications of AM and FM radio and black-and-white and color television first became apparent. His discussion of the early years of radio examines powerful personalities—including navy secretary Josephus Daniels and commerce secretary Herbert Hoover—who maneuvered for government control of "the wireless." He then considers fierce competition among companies such as Westinghouse, GE, and RCA, which quickly grasped the commercial promise of radio and later of television and struggled for technological edge and market advantage. Analyzing the complex interplay of the factors forming public policy for radio and television broadcasting, and taking into account the ideological traditions that framed these controversies, Slotten sheds light on the rise of the regulatory state. In an epilogue he discusses his findings in terms of contemporary debates over high-resolution TV.


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Engineering Public Policy for Radio Herbert Hoover the Department of Commerce and the Broadcast Boom 19001927
Radio Engineers the Federal Radio Commission and the Social Shaping of Broadcast Technology Creating Radio Paradise 19271934
Competition for Standards Television Broadcasting Commercialization and Technical Expertise 19281941
Rainbow in the Sky FM Radio Technical Superiority and Regulatory Decision Making 19361948
VHF and UHF Establishing a Nationwide Television System 19451960
Competition for ColorTelevision Standards Formulating Policy for Technological Innovation 19461960
Note on Secondary Sources
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Sobre el autor (2000)

Hugh R. Slotten is a postdoctoral fellow in the History of Science Department at Harvard University. He is the author of Patronage, Practice, and the Culture of American Science.

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