The Newberry Library Seminar on Technology, Politics, and Culture
Co-Sponsored by the History Department of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Roosevelt University, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University's School of Communications
Friday, March 17, 2006, 3:30-5:00pm
The Newberry Library
Radio Interferences, "National Service," and the Development of European National Broadcasting Systems in the Interwar Period
Jennifer Spohrer, Columbia University
Why did broadcasting develop along private lines in the United States during the 1920s-30s, but along national, public lines in Europe? The most common explanation is that radio was an outgrowth of telecommunications systems, which were state monopolies in Europe, but private ones in the United States. While convincing in the case of point-to-point communications, however, this argument is less satisfying in the case of radio broadcasting. In this paper I suggest an alternative, demonstrating how European responses to the technical constraints of the radio spectrum - namely, to problems of radio interference and frequency scarcity - encouraged the growth of a national, public broadcasting model in Europe during the interwar periods.
All papers are pre-circulated. For a copy of the paper, e-mail Ginger Shulick at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 312.255.3524.
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