Blog Posts

The art of radio self-satire | Part 1…

Here’s a question to think about. Over the decades, since 1922, has the BBC ever been guilty of taking itself too seriously? If you read some sections of the popular British press - in particular those newspapers who regard the Corporation as the last bastion of a public service broadcasting organisation that needs to be … Continue reading The art of radio self-satire | Part 1…

100 memories: radio in the rear view mirror

So, 2022 was the centenary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (née Company). Have the celebrations marking events in 1922 passed by unduly quietly? In this article I'll mention a couple of contrasting views about radio broadcasting's first one hundred years. I've spent the last four decades in the industry, and like many of my generation … Continue reading 100 memories: radio in the rear view mirror

The BBC century: what’s this thing called Radio?…

This article consists of some personal collections and recollections about radio broadcasting and journalism history. There is here a degree of nostalgia, some sarcasm, and a visual representation of the decay of new technological ideas. There is also sadness at recent announcements in the Autumn of 2022 about severe cutbacks to programming on the 39 … Continue reading The BBC century: what’s this thing called Radio?…

Where ivory towers meet the world of radio…

I’m writing this in the autumn of 2022. It’s the first time in two years that academics have gathered together for their late summer rituals – known as conferences. There’s a whole etiquette to these things. In theory an academic conference is spread over one or two days. It starts with a general talk from … Continue reading Where ivory towers meet the world of radio…

Step up to the microphone: 100 years of British Radio…

In the previous two episodes of this mini-series of articles I have considered how technology has determined the progress of radio for the past century. Read here – because I am aware that technological determinism is regarded by some (not me) as academic heresy. https://prefadelisten.com/2022/07/14/the-bbc-at-100-how-radio-has-determined-technology-perhaps/ And in the second part you will find my thoughts … Continue reading Step up to the microphone: 100 years of British Radio…

Why Technology Is to Blame for 100 Years of Radio… Probably.

This is the second in a series of articles about the technology behind radio. In this episode, amongst other things, I'll be taking issue with the word "podcast". Read on to find me turning into a grumpy old codger as I winge about how this word has become an umbrella term to denigrate aspects of … Continue reading Why Technology Is to Blame for 100 Years of Radio… Probably.

The Broadcast Century | How radio determines technology… Perhaps…

Warning: the following Beeb-orientated material contains mentions of butchery, brothels, and breaches of health and safety. As well as sheep… This article, and its sister, as well as the third part,is an imperfect and only partial list of ideas. However, this is not a “listicle”; I detest such things because they are the squalid evidence … Continue reading The Broadcast Century | How radio determines technology… Perhaps…

The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 2 of 2

In the previous episode I talked about W. H. Auden and his worries about world events in the 1930s, heard through radio reports on the BBC both at home, and abroad. I also recalled my time on attachment as a producer – plucked from the frontier outpost of Local Radio in Derby to work on … Continue reading The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 2 of 2

The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 1 of 2

This is the first of two articles about the BBC World Service. I spent some time working there, and it features in my new book Radio’s Legacy in Popular Culture. The second part of this online mini-series is available by clicking this link. You can sign up for a monthly e-mail alert of new feature … Continue reading The BBC century: the World Service and the Cold War – part 1 of 2

100 Years of Radio: When it all goes wrong – a broadcaster’s fear of failure

This article is part of a regular series of monthly features about the joys of radio. However, this edition brings details of a warning from the early days of British radio. It's from 1931, when the BBC's broadcast headquarters was a series of rooms on the upper floors of a back-street building down by the … Continue reading 100 Years of Radio: When it all goes wrong – a broadcaster’s fear of failure