International Broadcasting Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

International Broadcasting

-in the U.S.A. And Abroad-

It is the purpose of this work to examine and evaluate the impacts that international broadcasting has had on the cultural, political, and economical landscape of society as well as in terms of the impacts effected by law, communication, advertising or public relations. Sources for referencing in this document are explicitly academic and professional journal works.

In the year 1961 America's President John F. Kennedy appointed a young Chicago lawyer, who incidentally was not a member of the Washington D.C. "elite" to the position of Chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, commonly known as the "FCC" or the "Commission." Newton N. Minow was the youngest individual in history to fill the position. (Cate, 2003)

With just a few words Minow changed the way that the American citizens viewed the broadcast industry as he said:

"I have confidence in your health [but] not in your product. Your industry possesses the most powerful voice in America. . . I invite you all to sit down in from of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there without a book, magazine, newspaper, profit-and-loss sheet or rating book to distract you -- and keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. You will see a procession of game shows, violence audience participation shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, Western badmen, Western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence and cartoons and endlessly, commercials. Many screaming, cajoling and offending. And most of all boredom. I can assure you that you will observe a vast wasteland."

"But when television is bad, nothing is worse."

Minow was the initiator of a national debate that is so long running in nature that it continues even yet in the year 2004. Thirty-five years old, well-versed in matters of legal import, Minow issues a challenge to broadcasters even into the corridors of the future, into today for the higher pursuit of more excellent programming with more freedom of choice on a wholesome and positive level. Minow stayed only two years and then left the Federal Communications Commission and went to work for The Encyclopedia Britannica as Executive Vice President and General Counsel.

II. A New Era in the Federal Communications Commission:

Minow had stated at the time of his appointment to the F.C.C. that, "I believe television is going to test the modern world, and this new opportunity to see beyond the range of our visions, we shall discover either a new and unbearable disturbance to the general peace, or a saving radiance in the sky." In 1991, the answering remembrance of his statement was heard as Minow said that, "That radiance falls unevenly today. It is still a dim light in education. It has not fulfilled its potential for children. It has neglected the needs of public television. And in the electoral process it casts a dark shadow." Minow wrote a book entitled, "Abandoned in the Wasteland: Children, Television and the First Amendment." It was written in conjunction with Craig LeMay who joined with Minow for the purpose of enlightening and empowering parents concerning the accessibility of unsuitable programming in relation to children's viewing proposed federal legislation.

Minow's speech had created an uproar, offending and maddening the industry. The public response was, according to Mary Ann Watson, a communications scholar, "quick and abundant and overwhelmingly positive." Minow was the Associated Press poll "top newsmaker" for the year 1961. Appearing on television more times than any Kennedy except J.F.K., Minow was instantaneously a celebrity.

In the Administrative Science Quarterly in a written work by Tom King

, King states that the shift within the interorganizational field with passage of time in relation to the U.S. broadcasting industry historically was that of which he wrote in his work. In reporting what had been researched King identified three endogenous of nature, mechanisms of change and did so in manner that revealed beyond the mechanism of words concerning that which King referred to as "phenomenon" averring to the rabbit hole of elements of deep import that needed made sense of. After the research and identification of all the players, elements of competition in the pressurized industry, resulting was the conclusion stated that "the organization of a field is not permanent, but is contingent upon institutionalized definitions of what is being transacted. King states that the research is a 'historical analysis" of the broadcasting industry. The research framed three questions as follows:

1. How are new exchange practices started?

2. What participants introduced them?

3. How are new exchange practices started?

4. What theoretical mechanisms can explain the introduction and later the establishment of practice?

Keywords were expressed in the "tools" of "knowledge' and "technology" or "methods that endow capabilities to agents in a field for establishing and maintaining their transactions, or that of technology." Technology," states King is cumulative and expands the potential actions of participants in maintaining their transactions. King explored the problems that were expressed through questions as to who, if indeed anyone was the 'owner' of the airwaves? This question expressed the ambiguity that surrounded the rights of that spectrum. However, the Navy soon regaled what had been a long time project through urging the government to take control of communication based on "a matter of national defense." Herbert Hoover, Secretary of Commerce held that neither private vested interests or the state either one held ownership of the airwaves but spoke in analogy which gave comparison of the waterways as being in the same realm as that of the airwaves. Hoover's belief which he had penned was adopted as the Radio Act of 1924. Thus, in the year of 1925 those regulations with staying power vested in the regulatory agencies of the Department of Commerce and the Federal Trade Commission. Progressing into a patent pool, exclusive manufacturing among GE, AT& T, and International Radio & Telegraph as well as Westinghouse, together with KDKA Radio Station. These entities created the Radio Corporation of American, which is commonly known by simply RCA.

III. Time Periods Inclusive of the Radio Age:

The Time-Period Increments of the radio industry were as follows:

1920-1934: Industry beginning and commercialization of industry.

1935-1949: The "golden-age" of radio and the growth of the networks.

1935-1950: The Transformation form exchange of Programs to Exchange of

1950 -1965: Rise of local independent stations and decline of the national networks.

However, before that is reviewed this work will return to a time further back around the year 1927.

IV. The United States was not the Leader of the Pack in the Beginning:

In the year of 1927, Great Britain had surpassed the United States for several preceding years. "Section 12 of the Radio Act, 1927" barred foreign nationals from obtaining a radio licenses and limited the direct ownership of broadcasting corporations with the limitation of 20%. This section was incorporated as a part of the Communications Act, 1934,-word for word as Section 310 and its "scope was broadened in attempt to restrict investment by holding companies."

The foreign ownership freedoms stay intact for the most part even being "incorporated in to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 however, the Act repealed the restrictions on the nationality of officers and directors."

Targeting a point-to point service, wireless found as its main customer the navies of various countries, shipping companies as well as some larger corporations." Wireless communications were intended for the purpose of confidentiality in communication for purposes such as coordination of fleet maneuvers and the like. (Headrick, 1991). Reportedly amateurs were giddy at the signals received from around the world. Research shows that telegraphy and the early broadcasts experiences co-existed with broadcasting lagging far behind in terms of primary radio technological uses."

(Douglas, 1989)

The United States Naval Department took a "consistent interest" in development of radio policy with their role being one that was crucial in the formulation of policies in the radio and broadcasting industry. From the year of 1910 the technology fell into the jurisdiction of the Navy, specifically the Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering which is where the origination of the idea for imposing restrictions on licenses based on the nationality origin of individuals. Two bills were introduced into the U.S. Congress during 1911 that in essence asked for a requirement to be set for ratio stations obtaining of a license form the Secretary of Commerce and Labor, (.3620 or H.R. 15357, however neither bill included any foreign ownership elements It was during the January 1912 hearings on the House bill that Lieutenant Commanders David W. Todd, officer in charge of The Bureau of Steam Engineering and radio divisions made recommendation that both license holders and operators of radio stations should be American citizens. (Radio Communication 1912)"

V. 1920-1934 Radio Industries Beginning:

The radio industry started with a total of 476 radio stations in 1923 with 324 of those being owned by radio manufacturers or 47%, with 20% ownership of radio stations being owned…

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