The Beginning of Broadcast Regulation in the Twentieth Century


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About the Book

The Radio Act of August 13, 1912, provided for the licensing of radio operators and transmitting stations for nearly 15 years until Congress passed the Radio Act of 1927. From 1921 to 1927, there were continual revisions and developments and these still serve as the basis for current broadcast regulation.
This book chronicles that crucial six-year period using primary documents. The administrative structure of the Department of Commerce and the personnel involved in the regulation of broadcasting are detailed. The book is arranged chronologically in three sections: Broadcast Regulation and Policy from 1921 to 1925; Congestion and the Beginning of Regulatory Breakdown in 1924 and 1925; and Regulatory Breakdown and the Passage of the Act of 1927. There is also discussion of the Department of Commerce divisions and their involvement until they were absorbed by the Federal Communication Commission. A bibliography and an index conclude the work.

About the Author(s)

Professor Emeritus, Marvin R. Bensman taught 35 years at the University of Memphis such subjects as entertainment law, electronic media law and broadcast history. He is the founder and director of the Bensman radio program archive housed at the university and has served two terms on the board of the national Broadcast Education Association. He lives in Weston, Florida when not doing post-retirement teaching in fall semesters at the University of Memphis.

Bibliographic Details

Marvin R. Bensman
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 280
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2000
pISBN: 978-0-7864-0737-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-6235-3
Imprint: McFarland

Book Reviews & Awards

“a useful addition to academic journalism collections”—Library Journal; “valuable reference…useful”—ISIS; “the most important study of this formative period of policy development”—Communication Booknotes Quarterly; “a very good job…clear, concise, extensively documented and well written”—North American Shortwave Association; “focuses on the years 1921 to 1927 which culminated in the Radio Act of 1927…full of interesting stories and anecdotes that illustrate and give insight into what was happening in radio during those early broadcast years”—North American Radio Archives; “the administration structure of the Department of Commerce and the personnel involved in the regulation of broadcasting are detailed”—Critical Studies in Media Communication; “important in the study of the early years of the medium”—Classic Images; “highly useful”—Journal of Radio Studies.