Governments Influence on the Radio

Topics: Radio, Radio broadcasting, Federal Communications Commission Pages: 3 (979 words) Published: August 11, 2008
Radio was originally created for the purpose of communicating with ships out to see and emergency broadcasting. Throughout history the United States government has had a major influence on the evolution of radio. The government was responsible for fostering ownership regulations for the stations in an effort to regulate information transmissions and military security. Unfortunately, in doing so the ownership of radio stations became about individual profit rather than national security. The government in the United States has played an integral role in radio’s development. They began enforcing limits on station ownership to regulate the number of stations a company can own. They also began regulating the content of radio broadcasts when their purpose changed from informative to entertainment. In addition to that the government has had the power to control who and where a person or company can broadcast. From the beginning of radio, the government has influenced much of its components. Since World War I, the United States government has influence the directionality of radio. In 1919 the American branch of Marconi had requested 24 alternators that would allow them to connect on a worldwide basis from the company General Electric (GE) who was the leading manufacturer at that time. The US navy fought to ensure that type of power did not lie in the hands of a foreign ocuntry6. So, GE created a private sector monopoly. They started Radio Corporation of America (RCA) which later acquired the American branch of Marconi. By the end of 1919, RCA had monopolized the entire wireless industry. In 1922, AT &T began to argue that RCA had too much power. By the late 1920s the US government was forced to intervene again. They charged RCA with several violations including too much control. RCA was forced to stop buying stations and the competition between them, G&E, and Westinghouse intensified. IN 1927, the government passed the Radio Act of 1927 which stated that...
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