Rabu, 21 Desember 2011


Radio and television have, respectively, a seventy-plus and a forty-plus-year history as a mass media, and both grew out of pre-existing technologies – telephone, telegraph, moving and still photography, and sound recording. Despite their obvious differences, now wide in content and use, radio and television can be treated together. Radio seems to have been a technology looking for a use, rather than a response to a demand for a new kind of service or content, and much the same is true of television. According to William (1975, p.25), ‘Unlike all previous communications technologies, radio and television were system primarily designed for transmission and reception as abstract processes, with little or no definition of preceding content’. Both came to borrow from existing media, and most of the popular content forms of both are derivative – film, music, stories, news and support.
            Perhaps the main genre innovations common to both radio and television have been based on the possibility of direct observation, transmission and recording events as they happen. A second distinctive feature of radio and television has been their high degree of regulation, control or licensing by public authority – initially out of technical necessity, later from a mixture democratic choice, state self-interest, economic convenience and sheer institutional custom. A third and related historical feature of radio and television media has been their centre-periphery pattern of distribution and the association of national television with political life and the power centres of society, as they have become established as both popular and politically important. Despite, or perhaps because of, this closeness to power, radio and television have hardly anywhere acquired, as of right, the same freedom and the press enjoys, to express views and act with political independence.


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