Blog Posts

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

100 Years of British Radio: Why do we love the pirates so much?

The BBC – and radio in Britain – is now celebrating its centenary. But almost from the start the official broadcasters: initially the BBC then later the commercial ILR companies fretted about competition from pirate stations. First there was home-made equipment in the 1930s, then in the 1960s we had the offshore pirates, and from … Continue reading 100 Years of British Radio: Why do we love the pirates so much?

The BBC at 100: how the Corporation, Auntie Beeb, is talked about

Click this image to see a sample chapter The BBC has, throughout its one hundred years, had a delicate relationship with politicians and governments. From the standpoint of early 2022 that sentence may seem to be something of an understatement. Let me fill in some historical context, and explain how I've been researching other ways … Continue reading The BBC at 100: how the Corporation, Auntie Beeb, is talked about

So, what do you think about – when you turn on your radio?

It’s a question that I’ve been considering for some time. My research has taken me into music and film archives. I’ve walked around art galleries, as well as browsed along library shelves. Click on the book cover to read a preview of my work. So, what does go through our minds when we switch on … Continue reading So, what do you think about – when you turn on your radio?

Writing for radio: it’s what we do…

Martin Cooper. So, after forty years in the broadcast media business, including two decades teaching young journalists about the arts of the trade, I’m still finding that I have to explain what “writing” has to do with “radio”. Over the course of listening to hundreds of hours of BBC and commercial radio output for my … Continue reading Writing for radio: it’s what we do…