Wednesday, September 7, 2011

NBC and the Network Idea

The Local and the National:

Hilmes, focuses on local versus national to begin to explain the development of radio and broadcasting in the US. Radio began by being sponsored and run by amateurs that focused on developing technology and commercialization. But, after WWI immigration increased which lead the nation to fear that a split was forming and their broadcasting aim needed to be altered. The government chooses to unify the nation through broadcasting rather then divide it. This was a crucial decision for our government; turning radio into a way to communicate to the nation about national news and concerns, bringing together a divided country.

RCA was one of many national companies formed by General Electric. They had what was known as a “Class A” broadcasting license allowing them to control most of the air waves. This continued until uproar formed from non-profit individuals who also wanted to use the air waves. This lead to the creation of “Class B” license which allowed specific broadcasters to use a less crowed frequencies that was promised to have good quality (RCA and Westinghouse were two that operated on B).

The division of class between air waves lead to the creation of a distinction between commercial and public service. This allowed a balance to form between the air waves, giving local/ public service time and resources to inform and connect the people. As well as commercial companies (NBC and RCA) the time and place to produce broadcasting and still maintain the nations attention. This distinction caused a productive rivalry between the air waves, allowing for the people to receive what was best for them.

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