Tuning out education, Chapter 5

Failing to foster lasting Cooperation between commercial broadcasters and educators, but sticking to its rhetoric, NACRE covered up the fatal inertia that plagued U.S. educational broadcasting. Continue Reading

Tyson saw revenue for universities like Columbia, where he was a pioneer in radio education, while the Midwestern populists envisioned free extension services for the public. In this 1944 ad for NBC University of the Air, the network's Radio City rises behind Ivy League gates.

Tuning out education, Chapter 4

The Depression created a demand for sober, public-service uses of radio. Seizing the moment, NACRE launched the most ambitious experiments in national educational broadcasting that had ever been tried in America. Continue Reading

Tuning out education, Chapter 3

Rival lobbies fought for regulators’ nod

"If you educators do not hold radio for yourselves," Judge Ira Robinson told educational broadcasters in June 1930, "it is going to be so fortified by commercial interests that you will never get it."[41]

The lone pro-education member of the Federal Radio Commission, Robinson had ample grounds for alarm. Since the mid-'20s, dozens of school-operated stations had been driven from the air by a combination of commercial competition, FRC pressures, and their own lack of resources and resourcefulness. In 1930, the mortality rate seemed to be rising; more than 20 educational stations would fall silent by the end of July. During the previous winter, Commissioner Robinson had been involved in a promising initiative that might have brought the federal government to the rescue. But the Advisory Committee on Education by Radio, appointed by the Secretary of the Interior, had pulled back from recommending measures that would do much good for beleaguered educational broadcasters. Continue Reading

Tuning out education, Chapter 2

Education had no 'inalienable right to part of the air,' said the spokesman for broadcaster-educator Cooperation in 1930. It would have to prove itself in the marketplace. The struggle had only begun... Continue Reading

Tuning out education, Chapter 1

Educators never made up the ground they lost during the 1920s and 1930s. They were outspent, outmaneuvered in Washington and outproduced on the air. Continue Reading

Tuning out education

How did advertising-driven broadcasting establish itself as the dominant user of the airwaves in America? A crucial episode occurred in the 1930s when commercial broadcasters argued successfully that they would put education on the air, and educators should stick to their books. Eugene E. Leach, Ph.D., a professor of history and American studies at Connecticut's Trinity College, tells the story, originally serialized in Current. Chapters

1. The doctrine of 'Cooperation' won early battles of ideas

2. Continue Reading

Revisiting Brideshead Revisited

You may have recently reacquainted yourself with this classic public TV mini-series. The American Program Service and 20 stations have brought it back for a third set of broadcasts this year, after a few runs on Bravo. Here, David Stewart reminds us of the quality, scope and impact of the production when it premiered in this country 14 years ago. On Monday evening, Jan. 18, 1982, the 11-part, 13-hour television series Brideshead Revisited broke over the PBS audience with the suddenness of a storm. Continue Reading