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New publications – part I: Rundfunk und Geschichte

November 12, 2010

There is another publication to be mentioned at length very soon, but before that happens, I want to mention  the new issue of Rundfunk und Geschichte (click on the link for the Table of Contents) which just appeared.

Several parts of this I find worthy of note (if I do say so myself).

The first is my new article Die europäische Wiedergeburt des Radios? Die Entwicklung und Arbeit des EBU-Radioprogrammkomitees [Radio’s European rebirth? The development and work of the EBU’s radio programme committee].  This is based on several archive visits to the European Broadcasting Union in Geneva, and tells the story of how the EBU began to take up the question of radio, a full decade after it began its television exchange activities.  It is my first-ever full-length article in German (ironically this one is not specifically about Germany – all of that stuff I have published in English)

The abstract in English:

In the face of growing competition from television and international commercial radio, the public service broadcasters in Europe began to consider seriously the future of radio.  The radio programme committee of the European Broadcasting Union, founded in 1964, soon became an important forum where this future was debated and formed.  This essay sketches the prehistory and first decade of the committee.  It views the programme committee as a privileged observer and important mediator in a transnational sphere that allows us to make visible the circulation of ideas, people and programmes.  It explores the initial discussion within the organization about the very nature of the medium and the programme activities that resulted.  It points to the technical, institutional, legal and discursive bridges and obstacles to programme exchange using examples such as pop music records and exchange with countries in the Soviet Bloc. 

Next is the second instalment of the journal’s new feature: descriptions of current PhD projects.  This time it features that of my clever colleague and fellow TViTter Dana Mustata From Modernizing to Subversive Television: Historical Practices of Romanian Television (some of her good work is to be found in Bignell and Fickers, A European Television History); as well as the research (now a brilliant dissertation) on women’s radio at the BBC of my friend and now co-conspirator (mwa ha ha ha) at the University of Westminster, Kristin Skoog.

And finally, there is yours truly’s review (again in German) of Ari Y. Kelman’s Station Identification: A Cultural History of Yiddish Radio in the United States (Berkeley: UC Press 2009).  To put it in a nutshell: I liked it.  A lot.  It does a brilliant job of showing the tensions that arose around a mass medium’s address to a minority public, and the ways in which it negotiated those tensions, sometimes in surprising ways.

Exciting times, these.

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