Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Local and National

The emergence of commercial radio in the US was accompanied by corporate interests who, like in many other mediums, dictated control over much of the operations. Radio was intended to remain available for the general public to use but from the beginning the corporations like NBC and GE saw the profit-driven commercial value of professionally produced broadcasts that mere individual citizens could not offer. While at first citizens, religious groups, small companies, etc were able to easily broadcast on their local radio frequencies as time progressed the quality programs of the corporations were favored. In 1922 these corporations gained prominence when they were granted Class B licenses, which gifted them the most popular radio frequencies in exchange for quality, clean programming. The individuals and less powerful interests were granted Class A licenses, this moved their programs to the low-traffic radio frequencies imposing strict restrictions of the broadcast of recorded music (seeing as the royalties hadn't been figured out yet).
Even with all of this apparent corruption one can still find 5-10 local radio stations without any big network affiliations. I know what you're thinking, "But Taylor what happened to this awful corruption conspiracy you spent your whole post establishing?" Well television came out years later in the 1930s and if you look at their broadcasting system it is almost completely controlled by large corporations. It's almost as if GE and NBC were learning how to ride a bike with radio and by the time television rolled around they were ready to ride like the big boys. If you ever seen 30 Rock you would get a good insight (albeit comical) into how the media industry is run by corporations like GE.
Now for a comic! Clavin & Hobbes (my favorite)

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