BROADCASTING IN THE 1920s : GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE INTERESTS
By Alan Barnard
Australian broadcasting has always been subject to government regulation. This paper identifies fundamental changes in regulatory rules in the formative years of the 1920s and relates them to the interests they affected. Pressure by radio dealers determined the character of initial regulation and therefore the early shape of the broadcasting industry: private firms dependent on revenue from government-imposed listeners’ licence fees. Government initiative, quite independent of private lobbying, ended that system. Seeking to subsidise broadcasting in small States and rural areas, it ‘expropriated’ the pioneers in 1929 and replaced them with a single Australia-wide revenue-supported private program contractor using transmission facilities provided by the PMG Department – an immediate forerunner to the creation of the ABC in 1932.
page: 98 – 126
Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation
Volume 1, Issue 1