Outline and evaluate the factors that led to the creation of the BBC
The British Broadcasting Company, or BBC as we know it today, began as a private radio company established in 1922 by a group of six leading radio manufacturers including the well-known radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi who was regarded as ‘the father of radio’. ‘The BBC was formed as an expedient solution to a technical problem. It owes its existence to the scarcity of air waves’ (Curran and Seaton,2003, p.110).Having at first as competitors a few local companies from cities such as Manchester, London or Birmingham, which were broadcasting only ‘for a few hours and their programmes were informal, irregular and relatively unstructured’ (Williams, 2010, p.84), the BBC became soon the largest company broadcasting throughout the whole Britain.The first transmissions were registered on the 14th of November 1922. The need of one powerful broadcasting system with a large coverage was one of the first reasons why the BBC was created. ‘The BBC’s transformation is often presented as the personal achievement of one man, John Charles Walsham Reith’ (Williams, 2010, p.84). Becoming the general manager of the BBC at the age of 34, Reith found the corporation to be a personal achievement as he was a Scottish patriot wanting to be accepted by the upper classes of English society, fact which influenced the way the BBC was constructed. Later on, the company had been formed with a commercial mission – to sell radio sets. Along with the price of those new radio sets, licences fee were added, splitting into three categories: for ordinary listeners, experimenters and constructors. . Even though there were registered over 1 million people as audience, there were more who created their own radio sets- ‘listeners evaded the tariff by building their own sets with cheap foreign components. They then evaded the full licence fee by applying for experimental licences.’ (Curan and Seaton, 2003, p.110). This event led to...
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