ACC2013 New Media. Week 6 Communicating into Thin Air: Early Radio, Consumption and Missed Opportunities. 1. Lecture Overview. Case Study: Telephone as Radio? Broadcasting Radio becomes domestic. Gender, consumption and technology.
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Communicating into Thin Air:
Early Radio, Consumption and Missed Opportunities
Case Study: Telephone as Radio?
Radio becomes domestic.
Gender, consumption and technology.
Re-imagining radio for interactive, two-way communication.
The telegraph shrunk time and space but it remained a point-to-point medium. The ability to send signals wirelessly, over the air, opened the possibility for broadcasting. This integrated new cultural practices into people’s homes, as well as modes of consumption. We will pay special attention to the commercial broadcasting model and its integration of media and capital. We will contrast this with more radical notions of a radio that might have but never did happen; that is, as a two-way medium.
Analysis and discussion of the impact of early radio. How did it alter cultural practices at home? Was it inevitable that radio would become primarily a commercial medium? What does Brecht mean by the radical possibilities for radio?
Brecht, B 1979, ‘Radio as a Means of Communication’, Screen, vol. 20, no. 3-4, pp. 24-28. Available at http://www.medienkunstnetz.de/source-text/8/
Boddy, W 2004, ‘Wireless Nation: Defining Radio as a Domestic Technology’ in New Media and Popular Imagination, Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp. 16-43.
Hartley, J 2002, ‘Broadcasting’, in Communication, Cultural and Media Studies: The Key Concepts, Routledge, London, pp. 25-6.
Johnson, L 1981, ‘Radio and Everyday Life: The Early Years of Broadcasting in Australia, 1922-1945’, Media, Culture & Society vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 167-178. (Available as PDF on Unit Blog)Week SixCommunicating Into Thin Air: Early Radio, Consumption, and Missed Opportunities
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10:00-11:00am – Room 3N24
1:00-2:00pm – Room C226
4:00-5:00pm – Room E319
“Despite ubiquitous claims for the revolutionary nature of the changes associated with the current transition from analogue to digital moving-image media, there is little doubt that the public's first experiences with wireless communication 100 years ago represent a period of more traumatic uncertainty and improvisation than our own.”
Typical day’s broadcast from Telefon-Hirmondo
When commercial radio began in 1920, there was the need to develop an entirely new audience and new cultural practices:
Sell complete sets: Radio tuner with loudspeaker in cabinet.
Housed radio in the living room.
Model of housewife as passive listener.
Housewife as distracted or passive listener compared with active male hobbyists.
Key Thinker: Bertolt Brecht
Marxist German playwright.
Believed culture and politics were deeply intertwined.
Viewed culture and media technology as means for racial social, political and economic transformation
Highly critical of the commercialisation of radio.
Radio as a Means of Communication
Telephone as Radio?
A case against technological determinism
The broadcasting model
Radio and modernity.
Shift from amateur hobbyist to commercial radio.
Relationship between emergence of commercial radio and:
Gender, consumption and technology.
Brecht and radio as interactive, two-way communication.