Public Broadcasting: Liz Jacka
In the 1920s, Australian society and culture were influenced by Britain, which was still thought of by many as 'the Mother Country'. When the Government took control of 'A'-class radio stations, the resulting formation was influenced by the British model developed under the first Director-General of the BBC, John Reith. The legislaton which allowed the Government to take over the 'A'-class licenses was passed in March 1932. The Reithian model sees broadcasting as a 'public service' which should act as a 'cultural, moral and educative force for the improvement of knowledge, taste and manners', (Scannell & Cardiff 7).
'Broadcasting....carries direct information on a hundred subjects to innumerable people who thereby will be enabled not only to take more interest in events which formerly were outside their ken, but who will after a short time be in a position to make up their own minds on many matters of vital moment, matters which formerly they had either to receive according to the dictated and partial versions or opinions of others, or to ignore altogether. A new and mighty weight of public opinion is being formed...' (John Rieth, Director-Generla of the British Broadcasting Corporation, 1924, as quoted in Scannell & Cardiff)
Jacka, Elizabeth. The Future of Public Broadcasting. Media & Communications in Australia, Eds Stuart Cunningham & Graeme Turner. Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin, 2002, pp. 330-343.
Scannell, Paddy & Cardiff, David. A Social History of British Broadcasting. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1991