Thursday, April 23, 2009

Radio Changed the World

Radio was invented around the 1920's and had huge impact on comuncation. The troops were the first to have the land radio due to the fact it had helped in combact. "Then Marconi had got involved by having begin experimental transmissions, publicized broadcast and then came advertisment". In order for radio to make money and have the expense studios they have today, advertisment compines would pay them to play commercials. the next thing everyone in their house a radio and had an impact familes of not wanting to do anything but listen to the radio, had an impact on polticils, news and more.

Technological Advancements

Media was a rapidly growing commodity in the united states throughout the 1800's. Advancements such as as the limiere cinematographe as well as the introduction of the projector added to the popularity as well as the importance of mass media. Improved projection as well as the introduction of sound in media, turned film making into a money making powerhouse. While the motion picture received some criticism in regards to content and the affect it had on children, there is no doubt that the advancement of film allowed for the motion picture to become a staple in western culture.

"Moral Censorship" and the Government's Involvement with the Press

During the post Civil War era, "moral censorship" became a bigger part of society. It was because of this that laws were created that prohibited movies from being shown to the public by producers or theaters without government approval. It was in this way that the government helped to shape the motion picture industry. This was different from the way politics shaped the press in that with the press, the government's involvement was more in aiding the press and "influenced its development through subsidies in postal rates, government printing contracts, and other means." They also helped to shape the press in creating copyright laws.

Censorship because of the Civil War became a major aspect tot eh promotions of modern film. Government always played a major part in entertainment and press but "political influence of the content of the movies was greater then the press" this was because movies were for the public and the government had to put restraint on some things that they believed were not beneficial or could end up violating the government. Eventually movies were being controlled by the sate and not at the national level. After all was said and done politics had a mattered in movies but it a different way the the press.

The Power of Brand Names

The development and marketing of the Vitascope projector is a perfect example of how important product branding is, past and present. Starr details how Charles Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat created and displayed their own projector in 1895/1896 and it was a huge success. The projector would eventually be marketed under the name "Edison's Vitascope" instead of them receiving the credit for two reason. Firstly Thomas Edison was contributing a large amount to finance the mass production of the projector and felt that he should get some credit and mainly because they believed that people would identify with the name Edison. At the time Edison's name was seen as one that was always connected with the new and the cutting edge, as a result their projector would have a better chance of being successful and taking on all of the rival products on the market. This practice continues to this day as small manufacturers with a good idea or product often licence or outright sell their IP's to large companies simply because they have a better chance of being successful if they have a name such as Microsoft or Ford attached to it.

Chapter 9

I found it very interesting how by the end of the war, southern california had become the center of filmmaking and "hollywood soon came to symbolize both the glamour and irresponsibility of a dream-like, alien world. Since 1910 edison trust as well as independents had been using southern california as a production site. Los Angeles was very big and prductive at this time as well. I found it interesting how Los Angeles enabled the new movie moguls, producers, and stars to build a new community around the ideals of leisure and consumption that they were projecting on the screen.

The Four Principle Types of Broadcasting

In early radio most broadcasters didn't envision broadcasting as a profitable form of media. There were four main types of broadcasting around the 1920's. The first one was the manufacturers of the radio receivers: RCA, Westinghouse, and other manufacturers. Their main reason for broadcasting was to promote the sales of their receivers. Department stores and newspapers also participated in broadcasting to publicize themselves, they weren't yet selling on air advertising. Then colleges and churches and a handful of other non-profits as an extension of putting forth their general missions.

The final broadcaster actually had a vision as to broadcasting being quite profitable; AT&T. In 1922 they established a radio station right here in New York City. What they did was sell airtime to customers who didn't want to establish a station of their own. This idea started off slowly, going weeks without any pay. And then a real-estate development company paid $50 to present a 10 minute advertisement. The birth of Advertising on air.

War of the World's

On October 30, 1938 Radio stations played a segment from Orson Welle's " War of the Worlds". This causes mass hysteria along the people who were listening. Many of them ran out of their homes, and packed up their cars. In
a way this was kind of the same thing that happened 100 years prior with the moon hoax. The "Golden Age " of radio was beginning. Since people thought at this time that they were really getting attacked by martians they wanted to continue to listen to the radio for more updates. But little did they know it was just an excerpt of the the book.

Film is an Art Form!

“At the time of the Supreme Court’s decision in “Mutual Film” in 1915, the limited reach of the state and local municipal censors, as well as the competitiveness and diversity of the movie industry, prevented any single public or private organization form controlling the content of the movies (Starr315). Basically what the Supreme Court ruled was that the motions pictures were a form of business and not a form of art so therefore the First Amendment did not protect the motion pictures. For anyone that does not know what the First Amendment is, it is the freedom of speech. I believe that because the Courts did not rule in favor of the early films it was unconstitutional because the film industry is absolutely a form of art. If someone starts to censor film where does it stop? The censoring of art is taking away from the expression of the artist making it extremely difficult for the artist to paint a picture or get his or her point across. They say a picture can tell a thousand words but if an individual starts to compromise that it cannot even convey even a few words. What’s next the government telling someone what they can or cannot wear in public. Taking away the freedom of expression can result in ciaos!

Censored or Not

"But there's a critical difference between today's debates over the internet and yesterday's over the radio. Today, questions of cultural corruption---pornography and violence--hold the public's interest, while the more complex issues of commercialization and private control of a public resource are relegated to the business pages and the peripheries of the public mind"(The March of Radio). Today people in society are more concerned with media , and crime and the things that are going on in their living environment ,things that some feel are not as important as whats going on in the government or with businesses things that really affect how people live and things that ultimately effect the economy. People pay more attention to things that don't directly affect them , then they do to things that some believe are of the utmost importance. According to The March of Radio the massive telecommunications Bill, was passed more because of the profit that can be made as opposed to the real issue of who can have access to the means of communication. There appears to be more concern over what profit can be made, then to the actual concern of what is being displayed to the public , no matter what age or mind set.

Development of movies (Ch 9)

Before world war 1 the main source for entertainment was photography. Then began to develope the idea of making the pictures look like, they're actually moving. After motion pictures had been created, and seemed to be better then just watching a picture. People began doing research on creating a machine that could not only take picture but one which could record the picture for certain amount of time. This led Thomas Edison straight to the idea of inventing something that would be helpful to the world, but eveybody didnt agree that this invention would positively help. Some people thought it was actually poisoning the minds of children.

The Constitution of the Air

With the emergence of radio, it was still kind of unclear which direction broadcasting would go. And as a new media, regulations on how radio would be used sparked conflict. Government help some control over its development as they controlled radio technology during World War I. As that era ended, access to radio technology and broadcast was allowed within the country. But would radio be protected by government like newspapers and magazines before it? Or would it come to conclusion as motion pictures?
With the birth of Americas first broadcast, from Pittsburgh station KDKA, radio was thought to be mainly a political use as it covers the results of the presidential election in 1920. Soon numerous stations filed for licenses from the Department of Commerce, which was put in charge of issuing licenses and monitoring of station frequencies. But without the rights to limit the expanding media, broadcast grew out of control as stations frequencies began to interfere with each other. Eventually Herbert Hoover, secretary of the Department of Commerce, took his chances and began limiting this media and also holding annual National Radio Conferences with the numerous radio stations to find ways to come to terms with one another. Hoover later disappeared from the organization as he became the Republican nomination for president.
Revenue was another unsure subject for radio. It was decided in the beginning that advertisements were not meant to be part of broadcasting. "Rejecting radio as an 'objectionable advertising medium,' Printer's Ink declared that 'the family circle is not a public place, and advertising has no business intruding there unless it is invited'" (Starr 338). But as radio began to air recorded music over the air waves, ASCAP hit them for royalties for playing copyrighted music. Soon they didn't have a choice but to take advertising as a means of revenue.
Soon the Federal Radio Commission (FRC) was created and the Radio Act of 1927 granted them the legal regulation power that Hoover had looked for when we was with the Department of Commerce. Radio stations were forced to reapply for licenses as broadcast turned into a "privilage." Eventually American broadcast became a privitely controlled industry, but with some government regulation.


As Starr states in Chapter 10, " There couldn't have been a more fitting occasion for the debut of American broadcasting than an election night. In the following years, political decisions about the basic structural arrangements and rules of broadcasting would determine what kind of medium radio was going to become. With the advent of broadcasting, moreover, the age of the print-dominated public sphere would begin to wane: Within two decades, according to public opinion surveys, radio would overtake newspapers as Americans' primary source of news, and national political leaders would use radio to communicate directly with the public." In such a quick turn around, the radio has taken over all media outlets and become the primary source of communication. During World War I, the military used radio telephones to have air to ground communication. The telephone industry was planning to use radio links where wires couldn't reach. " There was clearly a business in conveying conversation from point to point, but there didn't seem to be any profit or justifiable purpose in sending voiced out to the world." This began the radio boom, and the popularity of recieveing news over radio waves grew more and more. The United States wanted to retain the radio waves in public ownership so there won't be an nfluence by the government in what is broadcasted. This became a positive impact in the broadcasting business. As stated, " At least in the formal sense, this decision represented a middle ground; in practice, the system created was overwhelmingly commercial, dependent on advertising revenue and driven by competition for listeners, in keeping with the commercial incentives dominating newspapers, magazines and movies."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Chapter 9

"The movies also spread rapidly because a variety of improved projectors came on the market: Edison's competitors first imported the Limiere cinematographe; then, having left Edison for a new company, Dickson introduced his projector." (Starr P. 300) In the late 1800's, its safe to say that technology was not the most advanced area during that time. In the time of film and film development, the people who were involved with it all needed to have some type of better view and technology was the only things that made it possible. After reading Paul Starr's quote, the upgrade of projectors made the viewing of film better and better. The more advanced projectors were the main cause during the spread of movies. Being that movies became so popular and it cost money to see, this also helped the wealth of the country. I also feel that not enough credit is given to those who started the whole movie industry. It is a huge part of todays entertainment and we strive to make it better everyday because technology is basically our way of life. Everything we know today is made or comes from some sort of technology weather it be cellular phone, computers, banking, automotives etc.

The Business Side Of early Broadcasting

Starr Page 338, "Listing priorities for radio, the business and engineering representatives at that conference had put "toll broadcasting" in last place and recommended prohibiting "direct" advertising and llowing only " a statement of the call laters of the station and a name of the concern for the matter broadcasted." There were so many doubts and concerns by everyone around radio as to how money could be made. An initial thought was a tax on radio recievers, but how much money could really be made there? But when the fantstic idea of advertising came around eveeryone involved was very skeptical. People didn't want radio to be commericalized for odd reasons, but in the end there was really no other way to make money on the air waves. Yet still, different radio stations and different companies remained hesitant. It is a good thing that Hoover changed his anti-commercial radio stance. When all is lost on this earth, radio will always be a constant, no matter what technology has evolved. Without the early agreements of advertising radio may have been a quick fad that would have faded long before now.

Early Broadcasting

The idea today of turning on your radio to your favorite station seems simple enough. Believe it or not, there was a point in history where radio broadcasting was seen as technically advanced as some of the most newly introduced technology of today. Radio broadcasting truly began its take-off in 1920 with the Marconi Company in Great Britain . In June of 1920, they were able to experimentally broadcast a clip of an opera singer. Even though this was a big achievement on their part, in August of the same year, "the Post Office banned the use of radio for entertainment because of complaints of interference with military and other 'important' communications" ( Starr 327).
In 1919 however, the US had lifted radio bans and radio became a hobby to people. Towers and receivers were being set up on rooftops and garage's in order to broadcast signals ( Starr 328). Eventually the idea of radio broadcasting became increasingly popular and was eventually to become used as a source for news, beating out newspapers and magazines ( Starr 328). Now that radio was becoming more popular and was not restricted to use by only military personnel, the government would have a whole new challenge in the fight to regulate and control the airwaves and broadcasting rights.

Monday, April 20, 2009

KDKA – The First Radio Station

Many people believe that radio broadcasting first started when KDKA did its historic first broadcast in 1920. Even though not that many people heard that historic event the public went crazy for radio and a new mass market was created. Everyone wanted a radio and by 1930 over 60% of all American households had them. The radio became an entertainment source for all family members to sit around and listen to.

As the number of radios increased so did the number of radio stations. KDKA was not the first operating station but it set the bar by which all other stations would have to meet. In 1922 there were over 600 radio stations operating in the United States, providing entertainment to the masses. After a while stations started to specialize in the type of radio broadcasting content that they would provide. KYW, in Chicago, specialized in providing opera six days a week. This content was met with overwhelming popularity by the people in that area. This lead to all the other broadcasting content we see today such as sports, weather reports, political commentary and market updates to say the least.

The reinvention of radio didn’t happen overnight; after KDKA’s debut in November 1920, it took another year before broadcasting took off.”

The stations fostered a sense on community among its listeners who were of different ethnic backgrounds, which brought a clash of old and new world ideas. As more and more stations began to broadcast a fight for the air waves ensued. Many programs overlapped and listeners would be disrupted leading to confusion. At first the government did not want to regulate the radio waves but the public demanded that they do. The government started slowly in 1926 by first setting up The Federal Radio Commission, followed in 1927 by the Radio Act of 1927 which divided the country into five zones each having equal amounts of licenses, time of operation, station power, and wavelength sections. This act also was the forerunner of the equal time rule whish ordered that stations give equal time to political candidates