"Even in an age of wonders": radio as an information resource in 1920s America

Crawford-Franklin, C. & Robinson, L. (2013). "Even in an age of wonders": radio as an information resource in 1920s America. Journal of Documentation, 69(3), pp. 417-434. doi: 10.1108/JD-08-2012-0108

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Abstract

Purpose – The paper aims to analyse the development of broadcast radio in the USA during the 1920s, focusing on the legislative and regulatory background, considering the broadcasting spectrum, programme content, and nature of radio as an information resource at that time.

Design/methodology/approach – An analysis of primary materials, and of recent secondary materials, is carried out.

Findings – The legislative and regulatory framework failed to take note of the unique attributes of information resources, and attempted to treat them in the same manner as more traditional resources. Records of the early days of USA radio are very limited. More positively, radio information resources played a major part in developing several aspects of society, including education, agriculture, and jazz culture.

Research limitations/implications – The study shows lessons for development of current information society. The research is limited to one communication medium, in one country, in one decade. It is not a full historical analysis of the development of radio broadcasting, rather it is limited to information resource aspects, largely of public sector broadcasting.

Originality/value – The paper is the first study of the early development of radio broadcasting from an information perspective. It shows the value of the “information-as-resource” model for analysing developments in the communication of information.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Science & Technology, Technology, Computer Science, Information Systems, Information Science & Library Science, Computer Science, Communications, Radio broadcasting, Information resources, Information history, United States of America, Twentieth century, Modern history, Information exchange, UNITED-STATES, EDUCATION, ORIGINS, INDUSTRY
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Divisions: School of Informatics > Department of Information Science
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/3101

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