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Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935


reviewed by Jim Cullen 1995

coverTitle: Telecommunications, Mass Media, and Democracy: The Battle for Control of U.S. Broadcasting, 1928-1935
Author(s): Robert W. McChesney
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Oxford
ISBN: 0195093941, Pages: , Year: 1995
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In 1938, radio (and future television) mogul David Sarnoff gave a nationally broadcast speech describing what was then known as the “American system” of radio: privately owned stations that sold advertising to pay for programming and to generate profits. “No special laws had to be passed to bring these things about,” Sarnoff explained. “They were already implicit in the American system, ready and waiting for broadcasting when it came” (p. 243). Robert McChesney’s Telecommunications, Mass Media, & Democracy represents a repudiation of this vision of radio and all its ramifications for later forms of mass communication, McChesney carefully documents how very special laws indeed had to be passed, and other at least equally implicit American ideas (of democratic administration of the common good, for example) had to be rejected. Far from being ready and waiting, the American system of radio was the product of a struggle whose resolution came only after... (preview truncated at 150 words.)


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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 97 Number 1, 1995, p. 149-151
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 1445, Date Accessed: 6/27/2017 2:51:27 AM

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  • Jim Cullen
    Harvard University

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