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Wed Apr 3, 2013, 01:14 PM

The Rise and Fall of Broadcasting as a Commons


from OnTheCommons.org:


The Rise and Fall of Broadcasting as a Commons
By US law, the airwaves belong to all of us. But there's no sign of that today

| by David Morris


It’s easy to forget that the broadcasting airwaves are—and once were treated as—a commons, owned by citizens, not powerful media companies.

At the dawn of the broadcasting era, the free market prevailed. The government set no rules. The 1912 Radio Act authorized the federal Commerce and Labor Department to issue radio station licenses to U.S. citizens upon request. Which it did, resulting in chaos. By 1922, 564 broadcasting stations were operating and their signals were often interfering with one another, which threatened to kill the budding industry in the cradle. Radio station owners asked the government to step in and fix the mess.

The question was how to do it. Several options were on the table. The U.S. Navy might have controlled all broadcasting, as it wanted to do. Frequencies could have been auctioned off to the highest bidders.

Or the U.S. could have created the equivalent of the British Broadcasting Company. The original British Broadcasting Company was founded in 1922 by a group of six private telecommunications companies. In late 1926 the British Broadcasting Company became the British Broadcasting Corporation with exclusive control of the airwaves under the terms of a Royal Charter. The Charter outlined the BBC’s public services: sustaining citizenship and civil society; promoting education and learning; stimulating creativity and cultural excellence. ..................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://onthecommons.org/magazine/rise-and-fall-broadcasting-commons



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Reply The Rise and Fall of Broadcasting as a Commons (Original post)
marmar Apr 2013 OP
Ron Green Apr 2013 #1
HiPointDem Apr 2013 #2
MineralMan Apr 2013 #3

Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 01:23 PM

1. Manufacturing consent

became the mission of the U.S. system of broadcasting.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 03:01 PM

2. kr

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Wed Apr 3, 2013, 03:11 PM

3. Well, it certainly has become common.

The reality is that commercial broadcasting is a dying industry. It's less and less relevant every year. When television over-the-air broadcasting was converted to digital format, it signaled the end of broadcasting as we know it. AM radio is a dead duck, and FM isn't far behind.

Entertainment and news is quickly moving to a purely commercial model, and that trend is acceleration.

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