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-.APR 4 T94g
The United States Armed Porces
THE AMERICAN HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION
This p-imphiet is ono uf a aeries made uviiilablG by the War De-
puitmi-iit uiidtT the HtrleH title GI Routidtablc. Ai the i^r^^noml titlu
iodicates, (JI Ro/nidtaliie pamphlets provide material which itiforma-
tion-u duration oJticers may use in conducting proup discussions or
forums us part of an olf-duty education program, anil which operators
of Armed Forces Radio Service outlets may use in preparing GJ
Kadio Koundtable discugsiun broadcasts.
The tontL'nt of this pamphlet has beeu preTiared by the Historital
Service Board of thr American Historical Association, Each pam-
phlot in the series has only one purpose: to provide factual infor-
mation and balanee^l ar^ments as a bssis for discussion of all sides
of the i^uest^on, Jt is not to be inferred that the War Department
endorses any one of the particular views presented.
Sitvcific nnyt/entirniti fin- thf li'm-iiEswii or forum Iftittt-r who filmtJi
fo it:ie flii--! pnmpiilet ivUi he /"und on. piigc 37,
Washington 25, D, C. il Jan 1946
|A.i:, 'MUt.l \\i. Juu 41E|.|
EM 2H, GI RtmndUtblc: Hvtt' Far Should Government
Current War Department instructions authorize the i-equi-
sition of addilional copies of this pamphlet on the basis of
unc cojfy for each :!5 military personnel, within limits of the
available sUl^ply. Addilinnal copies shouiit be requisitioJied
from the UuLLcd States Armed Forces Institute, Madison '.i,
VVij^consin, or the nearest Oversea Branch.
Distributed for use in the educational and informational ]jrof?rams of
the Navy, Marine Corps, and Coaj^L Guard. This distribution is not
to he construed as an endorsement by the Navy Department of the
statements contained therein.
EJitrcATltiNAN SECnvifES Section, StanhArds AN1> CllltKicULUM Divi-
SJON, TttAiKiMi. BUR^^Mi OF Naval Personnel, WAaniNt!TUN 25, D. C.
(Copies for Navy peraonnel are to be requisitioned from Educational
Educ^ation Section, Weij^'are Division, SPEt^iAL Services Branch,
Unitkii States Marine Corps. Washington 2b. D. C, (Distributed
to Marine Corps personnel by SpeciiU Services branch. Additional
copies, or information, may be obtained from unit Special Services
Traininc Division, Okkice of 1'eksonnei., Coast Guard HKAiJtjtJAR-
TKRS, Washington 25, i). C. (Cupiew for Coast Guard jjersonne!
should he r^'Huisitioned from the ConimandanI IPT), U. S. Coiist
Guard Headquarters, Washington 25, D, C.)
Who Ts it tbof 'fills the air with rodro waves? 2
Does the government hove to act as a radio traflic cop? 9
How does federal policing of the air waves worli?. ... 13
Can the radio industry police itself successfuMy? 22
What ore radio's basic problems and future prospects? 27
What solutions hove other nations tried? 33
To the discussion leader 37
For furHier reading 41
Other Gl Roundfable subjects 43
'OMETTMKS it seems as though
the life of the Brown family begins and ends with two
noise boxes — a little one in a bedroom ujistairs aiad a larger
one in the living- room downstairj^. From the time the fam-
ily gets up in the morning: until the last light is turned out
at night, these two arc rarely t^uiet.
The tirst sounds out of them may be the combination
music and patter of an "early bird" setting-up program
that helps Betty Lou keep her schoolgirl ligure in trim.
Then it is thti turn of the downstairs radio with the latest
Dews headlines and the weather report while the Browns
eat their breakfast.
After the children and her husband have gone for the day,
Mrs. Brown tunes in a marketing program lo hear the best
buys in fresh vegetables and then switches to her favorite
soap opera. The commercial announcements may provide
several items for her shopping lii^t. A health talk reminds
her that young Jim hasn't been to the dentist in far too
long. In mid-afternoon Jim himself comes in from school,
grabs some cookies, and dashes upstairs to hear the ball
The two noise boxes really hit their peak in the evening
hours. Before supper it's news again for Mr, Brown, a
spine-tingling adventure story for Jim, and a .jazz pro-
gram for fSctly Lou. After supper some friends come in
to visit the Brawns. They talk against a background of
symphony music while upstairs the children listen to their
Perhaps the family pets together again for a forum dis-
cussion or for a special broadcast from the White House.
Perhaps a commentator comes on to discuss what the Presi-
dent has said, and Mr. Brown catches an idea he wants to
talk over with the boys at the office. A play especially
written for broadcasting and some soft "reading music"
end the radio day for the Browns,
And for oth4*r families too?
The Browns' daily schedule is more or less typical for nine
out of every ten families in America. Of the 37,000^000
households in the United States, 33,800,000 had at least
one radio in 1944. For many people who do not do much
reading- — especially those with little formal education- — the
radio is their chief and almost only contact with the world
outside the circle of home, friends, and jobs. For all of uw,
what we hear on the air helps make our picture of what
life in our times is and ought to be.
Is it any wonder, then, that what passes through the
American air into the American mind is an important
question for the nation's present and future?
WHO IS IT THAT FILLS THE AIR
WITH RADIO WAVES?
There are about 900 radio stations broadcasting to the
American public. With them originate most of the noises
sent into the homes of our radio-listening millions. Begin-
ning in a broadcasting studio, talk or music goes into a
microphone. The sound waves, or parades of air wiggles,
become electrical wiggles in the microphone and from it
proceed along telephone wires to a transmitter. From the
towering antenna connected with the transmitter the waves
are sent through the air to be picked up by radio sets
wherever they may be. In the radio receiver the electrical
waves are translated hack mto a cbsc apT^roximation of
the original Jiounds. That i^ what JinaJiy comes out oi the
I ouil -.speaker.
While they arc travdinj,^ through the cthor to the re-
ceiving antenna, the parade oi' waves from a transmitter
must have the road to them^lves. If a nearby .station iti
transmitting at Ihe wame time, its waves will interfere with
the parade unless they are pitched at a dilTerent frequency.
For the hours il is on the air. therefore, and within the
rane:e of its 'Voice/' a radio station must have what is
called a "wave channel" — or ''frequency channel"- — lilear of
HouJ many channels are there?
There is a limit to the possible number of these channels.
We do not yet know how to make uac of many of the fre-
quencies between 10 kilocycles and 30.000, 000 kilocycles —
the "radio .spectrum." Many of the reat are used for point-
to-point communication such as ship-to-ship or ship-to-
shore, for aviation, for radar, and for other vonbroadcast
purposes. From one end of the ordinary home broadcast
receiver dial to the other, there are only 106 channels now
carrying: broadcast sounds. This means that, even with the
most careful planning, not too many groups of sounds can
he broadcast at once without getting in one anothcr\s way>
It now seems inevitable that there will always be a
scarcity of sound broadcasting channels. The prewar num-
ber has been increased by opening up a whole new set of
channels for FM ( frequency modulation ) broadcasting.
But even then, there won't be nearly enough to give every-
body the program he wants when he wants it. Which sounds
are to go out, and which are not? News or music? Speeches
by Democrats or by Republicans? Soap operas or school
programs? The radio pie is only ''so big," and someone
must decide what the American people are to get.
Who makes up the radio fuenu?
There are five chefs who make up the radio menu : the gov-
ernment, the stations, the iietworfcH, the sponsors, and the
THE GOVERNMENT. First chef is the Federal Com-
municationa Commission. FCC, an aijercy of the federal
government, issues licenses entitling corporations or per-
sons to buy, build, or operate nidio stations. As a condi-
tion of granting these licenses, FCG enforces certain re-
quirements ^aid down by CoTigress and by its own regula-
THE STATIONS. The £)00-odd station managers are,
collectively, the second chef. These men have the major
task of selecting the programs that sncceed each other in
blocks of 15 minutes or more throughout the broadcasting
day, week after week and year after year.
The stations are divided into three groups. First are the
30 or more stations owned by the networks. For them, of
course, the networks rather than the individual stations
largely determine* the programs. Second are the 650 or
more stations affiliated with the networks. This means
that each station enters into a contract with a network for
the regular use of programs provided by that network.
Third are the 200 iv-depeiideni stations that have no net-
work affiliations and that select or originate their own pro-
grams. This last group consists mainly of smaller .stations
with limited transmitting power. They make liberal use of
mechanical recordings of musical or other programs.
THE NETWORKS. The third of the chefs making up
the nation's radio menu is, collectively, the four national
networks. More than 700 stations — 4 out of every 5 radio
stations in the country— are owned by or affiliated with the
National Broadcasting Company, the Columbia Broadcast-
ing System, the Mutual Broadcasting System, or the
American Broadcasting Company (formerly the Blue Net-
work). Together they use 95 percent of the evening broad-
cast power. In addition to these giants, there are between
25 and 30 smaller regional networks.
The percentage of stations affiliated with the networks
has climbed steadily despite the fact that the number of
stations is also growing. In 1935 the nets had as affiliates
30 percent of all .stations. By 1945 the percentage was 79.
The networks have contracts with the biggest, most pow-
erful stations in America. One-half the total broadca.sting
time sold to advertisers is sold by the big networks. This
means that network programs occupy half the time on the
air and provide a large share of the income of the stations
in the four major chains.
The oldest net is NBC. It is wholly owned by another
company, the Radio Corporation of America^ which makes
many kinds of radio and phonograph equipment and has a
world-wide radio telegraph system for commercial mes-
sages. Beginning: in 1923 with 2 stationSi NBC now has
affiliation contracts with more than 100 stations, spread
over the nation. In addition, it owns 6 stations directly.
Second in size is CBS, which also provides programs to
more than 100 stations. Financial control through stock
owner.ship is in the hands of the William S. Paley family.
CBS owns 8 stations outright.
Mutual owns no broadcasting stations. Although it has
contracts with many more stations than the other networks,
they are, as a rule, the smaller and less powerful ones.
Mutual belongs to its key stations and the people who con-
trol them. Most important of these are WOR in New York
(owned by the R. H. Macy- — I.. Bamberger department
stores) and WGN in Chicago (owned by the Chicago
Tribune). Other important Mutual owners are a Weat
Coast regional network, the Yankee Network, the United
Broadcasting Company of Ohio, and the Cincinnati
Newest comer to the network field is the Blue, or Amer-
ican Broadcasting Company as it is now called, which was
at one time part of NBC. Like the others, ABC has
contracts with more than 100 stations. Control is in the
hands of Edward J. Noble, who made a fortune in **Life
Savers"; Chester J. TjaRoche, formerly of the Young and
Rubicam a'dvertising agency; and Time, Inc., which pub-
lishes Life, Timf. and Fortnyie magazines.
The networks originate noncommercial or "sustaining"
programs, arrange for commercial programs, and sell both
kinds to the individual stations. Business organizations or
"sponsors," as they are called, pay advertising agencies to
prepare radio programs for wide audiences. The advertis-
ing agencies buy station time for these programs through
the networks, which thus act as brokers between the sta-
tions and the people anxious to get the ear of the public.
The networks sell access to listening audiences mainly
through advertising agencies acting for the sponsors.
This arrangement for determining the radio menu of
the American people covers only a part of the total radio
time available — that given to "sponsored" or paid-for
shows. The remainder of the programs are called **sus-
taining" because they are not paid for by outside sponsors
or prepared by advertising agencies. They are prepared
and provided by the networks and sold to the individual
stations or originate at the individual stations themselves.
The most important hours on the radio schedule — the
early evening hours — when the greatest number of people
listen to their radios are usually assigned to sponsored pro-
grams. Here are to be found the entertainment programs
of Wide audience appeal. In a typical 6 to 11 P.M. period,
for instance, 80 to 90 percent of the programs are commer-
EVENING BROADCASTING POWER USED BY
NBC CBS MBS ABC AND INDEPENDENTS
The sustaining programs are, nevertheless^ ol great im-
portance in serving the radio public. They include news
bulletins, daily foreign news roundups, some symphony
programs and university round-table forums. The line be-
tween the two kinds of programs is by no means absolute.
Occasionally shows which begin as network sustaining pro-
grams develop such an audience that sponsors take them
over. Examples are Information Please, the Sunday Phil-
harmonic Orchestra concerts, and the Town Meeting of the
THE SPONSORS, It is dear that for sponsored pro-
grams there are other chefs than networks and stations
really preparing the radio fare. These are the sponsor.^^—
the fourth chef— who themselves pay for the time they use
to entertain the listening public and persuade it to buy
There are, of course, a large number of local businesses
which advertise on individual radio stations serving a par-
ticular locality. However, more than 70 percent of the
5300,000,000 spent by businessmen for radio time comes
from national and regional advertisers.
Growing numbers of business houses desiring to build
a huge mass market for a product have turned to the radio
as a favorite advertising medium. There are more corpora-
tions wanting to buy access to the great network audiences
than can find time on the air.
Because of the limited number of available frequencies,
the networks and station.^ Jiow must select among the ap-
plicants for advertising space. In 1943 only 144 of the
nearly three million businesses in the country bought 97
percent of the national networks' time.
In the same year two advertisers were the source of one-
fourth of NBC's entire advertising business. Ten adver-
tisers supplied over 60 percent of its business. Very much
the same situation was true of the other three big net-
AYorka. At present, three-quarters of all national network
income comew from four major commodity groups: food,
drink, and confections; drugs; soaps and cleansers; and
THE ADVEKTISING AGENCIES. There is, however,
a fifth chef, perhaps the most important of all — thq adver-
tising agencies. The .sponsoring companies decide the gen-
eral types of programs they want to use in promoting their
products. They do not furnish the programs directly. The
advertising agencies write and produce the sponsored pro-
grams; find, buy, and build talent; pick networks, stations,
and times; and so on.
Among advertising agencies the radio (ieid is so special-
ized that approximately two dozen of them control the Hon's
share of business for all four major networks. Here then,
in advertising offices, are the makers of many of the princi-
pal entertainment di.shes served up on the radio, as well as
the breads butter, and advertising sauces spread through
the day in songs, stories, and direct appeals to buy,
DOES THE GOVERNMENT HAVE TO ACT
AS A RADIO TRAFFIC COP?
The advertising of certain wares has today become the
means of supporting a whole mass-communications indus-
try — an industry that provides entertainment, rapid news
service, political forums, symphony orchestra and grand
opera programs, and a nation-wide audience for govern-
ment messages and announcements. This peculiar form of
enterprise has evolved gradually. It was not clearly seen
as the inevitable use for the new invention in the early
days of radio.
Although the underlying discoveries in the radio field go
back to the ISSO's, not until 1907, when Dr, Lee De Forest
invented the "^rid'' tube, did broad cji.sting of the human
voice become feasible. One ni^^ht Dr. Do Forest, Iru.stinij
to luck, invited a Swedish conL-ert singer who was visiting
hifl laboratory to sinpr into the complicated machinery he
had built, A wireless operator in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
happened to hear her voice and America had a new toy and
At first the Bell Telephone Company took the trouble to
control many radio patents, out of fear of radio as compe-
tition for wire telephones. Other interested corporations
were Westinghouse, General Electric, the American Mar-
coni Company — all of them thinking of the radio as a sub-
stitute for the telephone in point-to-point communication-
Parly lines fipr everyone
The first regular broadcasting station started in 1920
when a few businessmen and engineers realized the
possitjle uses of radiOH as "muKic boxes for the home." The
objection was made that broadcasting couldn't support
itself. In order to share in the noise people had only to pay
the purchase price of a receiving set. Who would pay for
the programs? More and more people became interested,
nevertheless, some in the commercial possibilities, some In
radio as a hobby.
Throughout the country *'hams'' and businessmen vrere
building tiny sending sets, talking to one another* filling
the air with words. By the end of 1923, there were more
than 600 radio stations on the air. Among the most im-
portant were those owned by electric and telephone com-
panies» department stores, and newspapers.
All of them were trying to learn the usefulness of the
new gadget so that they might adapt it to their businesses.
Their broadcasts were either .just talk, recorded and con-
cert music, or news read from the evening papers. Gradu-
ally, the more important stations began to expand their
programs. An opera was broadcast, tho first radio serial
appeared, variety shows made up of humor and music were
At iirst a few and then w*>vi} and more corporations with
things to soil the public began to buy time and talent for
radio broadcasts, ynowballin^r as it went^ the radio in-
dustry grew aw more people bought sets to hear the better
programs put on because more people were buying sets.
The first networks made their appearance.
Radiu traffiv jam
The development of the new device waa hampered, how-
ever, by the lack of any sort of radio policeman. Groups of
sound waves couldn't get from the broadcasting studios to
the receivers without being interrupted by other groups.
At first, the various stations made gentlemen's agree-
ments not to broadcast on one another's wave lengths. But
it was not a matter to be regulated by the though tfulnesa of
The amateurs, for instance, might broadcast on a favorite
wave length regardless of who eJse was using it. If one
of these hams playing ragtime records ran afoul of a
symphony concert, nothing but an unholy din would get
through to the listener. Or two haras talking to one an-
other would walk right in on a radio serial.
More often than not, the air would be filled with queer,
unintelligible shrieks of pain as the sound waves stepped
on one another.
The people concerned about tbe development of commer-
cia! broadcasting were helpless. Nobody had any clear
right lo a particular wave length. But to build an audience
it was necessary to guarantee clear reception at the same
places on the tuning dial all the time. Obviously it was time
to caH in a traffic cop.
Governments throughout the world first became intprPRfed
in the ra^lio i>eeau8e of its possible uses in ship-rcacue
worlf. Internationa! agreements which our government
signeil provided a common signal of distress — the "CQD/'
which resulted in the sptictacular iiiiiving of lives in the
Florhhi and Titanic disasters, and later became the **SOS."
In the field of land broad c aw ting» too, the government's
interest was made clear. CongrewH maintained, from the
first that radio was a matter of public concern and that
the representatives of the people had a right to determine
how the ether was used. In the words of one representative
*'the right of the public to service is superior to the right of
any individual to use the ether,"
In 1912. the United States government began to regulate
radio transmission of all Vinds. In that year the Radio Act
gave the secretary of commerce and labor (then a single
department) the power to license .stations. But thiw power
was not great enough to prevent the unforeseen '*babei of
the air" that developed in the middle iy20's-
The first radio traffic cop
To straighten out the wave-length mess a Federal Radio
Commission was created by Congress in 1927. At that time
there were only 90 channels available with 732 radio sta-
tions trying to use them. By assigning stations far enough
apart to the same channel, specifying the power to be
used, and staggering the time of activity carefully, all but
about 150 of these were able to continue operating.
Gradually, more and more rules for broadcasting were
set up. At first Congress was hesitant about placing a per-
manent government agency over the whole industry. But
it soon became clear to station owners, consumers, and
orticials that the job to be done was a big on.e>
During the late 1920'^ and early 1930'r the leaders of the
radio industry called on Congre.ss and the president; for
help. They asked for a better regulatory system and
clearer determination of the government's policies and
In 1933 the president asked a group of government ad-
m-inistrators to study the whole radio situation so that
some more efficient way of dealing with it could be worked
out. They recommended that "the communication service
as far as Congressional action is involved, should be regu-
lated by a single body.'' At the tiame time Congressional
committees attacked the problem.
HOW DOES FEDERAL POLICING OF
THE AIR WAVES WORK?
The joint result was the Communications Act of 1934.
This measure created the present Federal Communications
Commission and gave it power to regulate all nongovern-
ment wire and wireless communications in the public in-
terest. FCC also participates in the work of the Interde-
partment Radio Advisory Committee, which assigns wave
lengths for governmental uses.
FCC is responsible to Congress for administering the
provisions of the act. Its decisions, like those of other fed-
eral bodies, are subject to review by the courts.
There are seven commissioners, tach appointed by the
president, with the consent of the Senate, for a seven-year
term. Appointment is staggered so that, barring death or
resignation, one vacancy occurs each year. The statute
provides also that no more than four appointees shall be
from one political party so that there are always Dem-
ocrats and Republicans (often Independents also) as mem-
bers. A staff of engineers, lawyers, accountants, and other
specialists serves the commission in administering the act.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Appointed for 7 year lernis
ADVISED BY STAFF OF SPECIALISTS
i PRESS 1
I 90D BRtlAOCASIING STATIDNS
2. G5,0OD THANSHIIIERS
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FCC has other ^Johs besides its major task of reRulatinfj
commorcial radio broarica.sUng. It also regulatey the tele-
graph, cable, telephone, and radio- telegraph indiiritries to
see that the services siippliefl, the rates charged, and con-
ditions of service are the best available.
Other radio users to i^alch
In addition to the 900 standard broadcast stations which
serve the regular listening pnblic, FCC must issue licenses
to, and regulate, some 65,000 transmitters of other kinds-
These include amateur, aviation, ship^to-shore, police,
forestry, television, facsimile, frequency modulation, and
international short-wave broadcasting.
All these different uses of radio must be given plenty of
elbowroom on the radio spectrum so that they wiH not
crowd one another. Further, the commission must set
aside some frequencies for experiments with new kinds of
broadcasting- For instance, television has been as^ij^ned
some regular broadcasting channels and some experimental
The commission's duties do not end when it has assigned
frequencies to each transmitter. It must also police the air
waves — "monitoring" it is called — to be sure that all sta-
tions keep to their own frequencies and that unauthorized
transmitters do not appear on the air waves to cause in-
terference or a tralRc jam. This monitoring service was
greatly expanded during the war as a constant means of
listening for enemy messages transmitted by voice or
Morse, in secret code or otherwise. Likewise, for the war
period. FCC staff members listened in on foreign propa-
ganda broadcasts in many languages and furnished texts
and summaries to various interested war agencies.
The major job
But the part of FCC's job which concerns us and the
millions of radio listeners in the United States is its con-
troJ over the broadcasting stations. FCC's powers, though
definitely limited, are extensive.
Who is to have the right to use the air for broadcasting?
The Communications Act specifies only that broadcasting
must be in the hands of American citizens. To make cer-
tain of this, the commission requires each station to fur-
nish a complete list of the station's owners and to keep it
up to date.
Otherwise, rather than laying down explicit directions,
the act leaves it up to the commission to make such rules
in granting licenses as will insure that the licensed stations
best serve the "public interest, convenience and necessity."
This is where the rub comes, since many more applications
for standard broadcast licenses are received than can be
FCC, therefore, must choose which among the too
numerous applicants are to tie allowed to engage in the
broadcasting business. It has set up certain rules to guide
it in making its decisions,
A man who wants a license must establish his financial re-
sponsibility. He must show that he has (or has hired) the
technical skill necessary to station operation. He must also
describe his plans for programming so that the commission
may judge their general usefulness and practicality.
Each applicant for a license must indicate how powerful
a transmitter he plans to use and how many hours daily he
plans to broadcast. In some cases FCC grants only reduced
power or part-time broadcasting. Conditions in the area
will decide. For example, if the area to be served has a
widely scattered farm population the commission may ap-
prove a powerful "clear channel" station which can be
picked up many miles from the point of origin-
Before it will permit the building of a new station, FCC
studies the local situation, Oi>en hearings are occasionally
held at which all interested parties may present their
points of view-
Renewing a lieen»e
Originally, broadcast licenses were granted for six months,
after which time the owner had to apply for a renewal. The
period was first lengthened to one year, then to two, and
now to three. Every three years, therefore, every station
in America must apply to the commission for a renewal of
This periodic licensing procedure is the basis of FCC's
regulatory power. If it can be clearly demonstrated that
the licensee has not used his station properly to serve "pub-
lic interestt convenience and necessity" the commission can
refuse to renew the license. In such an events it will grant
the frequency to another licensee-
All sales or other transfers of stations must be approved
by the commission. Complete information concerning own-
ership must be given, and concealment of ownership may
be followed by a revocation of the license.
The Communications Act in so many words forbids FCC
to censor any radio broadcasts. The act and regulations do,
however, contain certain rules affecting program content.
The act prohibits obscenity and profanity on the air and
directs the commission to enforce the prohibition. Stations
which sell or give time to a candidate for public office are
required by law to give equal opportunity to opposing
candidates for that office. Transcriptions of speeches or
other material sponsored for political purposes must con-
tain plain statements as to who is sponsoring' and paying
for them. No lotteries may be advertised.
In reaching a decision on a license renewal, FCC doesn't
go into the content of particular broadcasts over that sta-
tion. \i does, however, take into account the over-ail record
of programming during the preceding period. Us aim is
to make sure that those applicants which offer the bej*t and
most buJanced radio diet get the licenses,
Cki^ckrein on the networks
Many stations had network contracts that bound them to
a certain network for fii^e years, but Ijouml the network for
only oTfe, Under the new rule a station can sign with a net-
work for only two years, so that it can change networks for
better service if it likes. The commission reasoned that
the networks will provide better programs if they know
their contracts are good for only two years. Al^o, it fig-
ured that new networks can get started more easily if they
don't have to wait five years for existing contracts to
The commission also banned "exclusivity." A stuiton
atfiliated with one network can now carry some programs
of another network as well. 'Territorial exclusivity" was
also forbidden. This means that if a network station in.
say, Toledo does not want a certain program, the program
can be sent to another station in Toledo or the surrounding
Networks formerly required stations to "option time"
to them, that is, give the network the right to a certain
number of hours each week, FCC felt that these hours, set
aside for network programs, "restricted the freedom of
[local] station licensees and hampered their efforts to
broadcast local programs, the programs of other networks,
and national spot transcriptions." Option time is now lim-
ited to certain proportions of each part of the broadcast day.
Some network contracts had made it difficult for sta-
tions to reject programs. Such practice is illegal, accord-
ing to FCC, which marntahis that the station is licensed to
have coutroi of its programs, not to delegate it "directly
to the network, or indirectly to an adverti.siiig aijency."
Therefore, the commission ordered stations to keep their
freedom to cancel network programs on occasion. Nor can
-stations transfer to a network power to fix their own prict^s.
If FCC is satisfied that a new appiicant will run a radio
station — or that an existing operator has run a radio sta-
tion — in the best interest of the local community and the
national radio system, the commission will grant or renew
his license. Call letters will be assig-ned, power and hours
of broadcast will be specified^ and one of the limited num-
ber of channels given. Actually, stations once licensed are
almost without exception relicensed at the end of each
three-year period. But no licensee has any legal vested
interest in renewal. The frequencies are used, not owned,
by the stations.
Can government enforce competilinn?
The Communications Act and the debates i>recedinjj its
passage make clear that Congress wished to maintain as
wide competition aa possibJe in the broadcasting field. FCC,
cspeciaJly in recent years, has tried to discover and dis-
courage trends away from free competition. From 1938
to 19'10 it investigated *'chain broadcasting" to see whether
the great networks had too much control over the stations.
By its physical nature, radio is limited to a few stations
in each locality. FCC has felt that control of radio should
he in the hands of many owners rather than few in order
to make it more difficult for any group to interfere with
freedom of expression by radio.
The commission has no written power to control net-
works. It can only regulate the stations that are parts of
the networks. Following its investigation and public hear-
ings, the commission issued an order to the radio industry.
The broadcasters at first fought and then accepted these
Because radio facihties are limited, the commission
feared that ownership of two stations in a community
would prevent the kind of competition it wanted to en-
courage. FCC ordered that no one could own more than
one station serving a single community. He may» how-
ever, own an FM and a television station in the same com-
Two networks under one ownership inevitably came
under the ban. As we have seen, the Blue Network was
separated from NBC and is now an independent system.
In granting licenses for FM broadcasting, FCC is limiting
to only six the number of stations anywhere that may be
under the same ownership.
Netrttpapers and radio sUttions
The commission also investigated the increasing number of
stations owned by the publishers of newspapers. At the
time of its investigation, about one of every three radio
stations was completely or partly newspaper-owned.
The following; three mnjor conceriiH moved FCC to hold
this inquiry :
(1) Whether the as.^ociation of radio stations and
newspapers affected **the free and fair presentation of
public isHues and information over the air'' ;
(2) Whether joint ownership of radio and press in-
terfered with the jTublit's right to the news by limiting
the public's sources of news;
(3) Whether the fact that many stations were tied to
newspapers resulted in local monopolies of broadcast-
ing and whether efficient operation was helped or hin-
dered thereby. In shorty was the public being properly
Objections to the inquiry were raised on many grrounds.
The commission was accused of unfairly singling out news-
papers as a special group of owners. FCC had no legal
authority, it was said, to go into this matter. Moreover,
declared the objectors, any rules it issued forbidding papers
from going into radio would interfere with the freedom of
the press. Finally, it was asserted that newspapers were
particularly well equipped to run radio stations because of
their special work in a similar field.
After taking a great deal of testimony, FCC decided not
to issue any special regulations about newspapers in radio.
But it pointed out the danger to democratic freedoms if all
the major agencies of public expression in any community
were owned or controlled by one man or group. It also
noted an important fact: Stations managed by newspapers
tend to be the most powerful and the most profitable ones
in their localities — which might mean that their tie with
the press gives them a special economic advantage over
others. The commission said it was taking no action be-
cause action did not seem necessary, but warned that it
might become so.
CAN THE RADIO INDUSTRY POLICE
The radio industry, like other industries, Is run for profit.
Yet because of its great importance for the political and
social hfe of America, it must be concerned with more than
dollars and cents. Congress has recognized the public re-
sponsibilities of radio in the Communications Act. The
radio industry itself has recognized them by its own regu-
lations. Perhaps the most important means of self-control
it has developed is the *'Code" of the National Association
Not aJi the stations and networks in the country belong
to NAB — which is the chief trade association in the radio
industry. Nor do all the member broadcasters follow every
provision of the Code. Althouijh NAB does what it can
to see that members comply with the Code, its regulations
The Code provisions have been developed to meet what
the radio industry conceives to be the public's needs and
wants, partly as measured by the demands of groups in the
population. In working out policies covering children's
programs, for example, NAB confers with women's, teach-
ers\ parents', school, and library groups. Through its
efforts a Kadio Council on Children's Programs has been
established. Keligious broadcast policies are similarly
worked out with the approval of responsible lay and church
leaders of the major faiths.
Children and education
Radio is one of the many things that influence children's
ideas of what the world is like and what kinds of people
they want to be. Favorable or dramatic presentation of
certain characteristics, for instance, may lead some children
to adopt those characteristics. According to the Code,
children's programs should "reflect respect for parents^
adult authority, law and order, dean livijii^, hig^h moral.St
fair play and honorable behavior/" And as children are
extremely senaitive and impressionable, the Code bans
"sequencer involving horror or torture or use of the super-
natural or superstitioua."
Actual research indicates clearly that the less education
a person has» the more he tends to rely on the radio for
information and ideas. Broadcasting presents a magnifi-
cent opportunity to reach low-income, rural, and foreign-
born groups, many of whom have not had the education
they want and need. Even those who have had better edu-
cational opportunity need more knowledge. Radio can
reach them, too.
One of the most important sources of a nation's strength
is a well-informed, intelligent population. America's way
of life will become more and more secure as our people
learn what it is, how to guard it, and how to improve it.
Broadcasting can give the people the facts they must have
to make the reasoned decisions that democracy needs. It
can also give voice to alternative points of view, so that the
people may choose among- them.
The NAB Code's provisions covering educational broad-
casting urge individual radio stations to devote time to
informational programs for children and adults- It suggests
that they use local schools and colleges, the U. S. OfTice of
Education, and the Federal Rjidio Education Committee for
advice on what needs to be done and how best to do it.
Religion and adverlising
''Radio, which reaches men of all creeds and races simul-
taneously, may not be used to convey attacks upon another's
race or rehgion," but should rather '^administer broadly to
the varied religious needs of the community." So reads the
NAB Code .section on religious broadcasts.
The Code urges stations to exercise great care in accept-
ing as sponsors only "individuals and firms engaged in
legitimate commerce," Nor should their commercial an-
nouncements violate "fair trade practices and accepted
standards of good taste." Thus stations are a.sked not to
Bell time to anyone urging people to drink *'hard liquor*' or
to patronise fortunetellers, mind readers, or astrologers.
Matrimonial agencies^ race-track sheets, and financial spec-
ulators are also disapproved as sponsors.
Advertising copy, according to the Code, ought not to
make "false, deceptive or grossly exaggerated" statements.
Neither should it unfairly attack competitors nor "repel-
lently" describe any physicaJ disorders. Commercial an-
nouncements should be limited, depending on the length
and time of the broadcast. Thus a 15-minute evening pro-
gram should have not more than 2 minutes and 30 seconds
of "plugging" although a full hour daytime show may have
Politics and controversy
Most of the argument concerning the NAB Code centera
around itn suggestions on broadcasting controversial sub-
jects. The only Congressional and FCC regulation on the
political use of the radio covers election campaigns. Con-
gress has told stations that if they sell time to one candi-
date for a public office or to a party or person supporting
him, they must sell equal time to the other candidates.
Moreover, campaign speeches are not censorable by the
The NAE Code, accepting the need for special treatment
of party campaign speeches, has a general rule that, except
at election periods, radio time may not be sold for the
discussion of controversial issues. Rather, it says, stations
should provide free time for such discussion as part of
their service to the public,
The Code holds that the sale of time for controversial
public discussion would enable individuals and groups with
great amounts of money to plead their cases far and wide
and at great length. Their opponents, without ample
funds, could buy only a limited amount of time and might
be denied any kind of radio hearing. Further, the Code
maintains^ if time were sold for such purposes to anyone
who wanted it, the station managers would lose control of
controversial programs and could not hold any reasonable
balance between all points of view.
The radio networks and stations, in this way, accept the
responsibility of serving as a forum for the expression of
competing ideas. The Code, in fact, makes it clear that
time can properly be sold for discussion of controversial
issues on forum type programs, provided that the forum
presents all sides fairly and the control of fairness is in the
hands of the station or network.
Such a policy is very ditiicult to enforce to everyone's
satisfaction. There is the problem of the regular poetical
commentators. They usually broadcast on paid time* and
may take Hides on public issues, violating the Code prin-
ciple. Rome networks have met Ihe issue by forbidding
commentators ly express controversial personal views.
Other nets try to balance their commentators by choosing
a corps of commentators with different and, it is presumed,
Are alt sponsors alike?
Then there is the problem created by bui^iness organiza-
tions that sponsor programs for entertainment and are
accused of plugging for their side of indastrial contro-
versies instead of advertising their products. Trade unions
and consumers' cooperatives, on the other hand, are not
allowed to buy radio time to present their views and must
rely only on such scarce free time as is available. They
feel, therefore, that thoy are not given an equal chance with
the bufiines^ses that buy time.
These people assert that the practical result of exclusion
from time buying is to keep many discussions off the air
altogether. One larger station has recently taken exception
to this Code limitation, and NAB is studying possible revi-
sion of the rule.
The Code gives special suggestions regarding straight
news programs. They are to be given accurately. They
are not to be biased through the selection of items or col-
ored by the personal opinions of anyone engaged in the
broadcast. The Code allows time to be sold for news pro-
Rirams as it does time for news commentator programs.
A final Code provision, designed to protect listeners
against annoyance, declares that groups (except such rec-
ognized nonprofit agencies or good causes as the American
Red Cross and Metropolitan Opera Guild) may not solicit
membership on the air. The fairness of this rule has also
been challenged by consumers' cooperative organizations.
They point out thai groceries, drugstores, and depart-
ment stores may pay to hawk their wares antl seek new
customers on the radio. Cooperative enterprises desiring
to increase their business by adding new customer-members
should be able to advertise in the same way, they say.
WHAT ARE RADIO'S BASIC PROBLEMS
AND FUTURE PROSPECTS?
From what has gone before, it is clear that the radio in-
dustry is complex. No one is completely satisfied with the
way it produces programs or with its relations to the gov-
ernment. Its difficulties grow out of the fact that it has
more than one function. It rt-nders a detinite public service
by communicating, recording, and repori.ing news, ideas,
and events for the public. But also, as an advertising
medium for some dozens of industries, it operates to make
profits for those industries and for itself.
Like most American institutions radio started out under
the management of private persons and corporations. Rut
radio's medium of operation — the air above our heads — was
more like the sea or a public highway than like private
land. It belonged to everyone, and it could not be divided
up among private owners. Only a limited number could
use the ^'highway" at any one time. And since more than
that number wanted to use it, the government had to parcel
out the ether's use by license, deciding who should use it
and in what ways.
Radio stations resemble newspapers in that both report
news and both serve as platforms for the spreading of
views and the debate of public issues. The similarity natu-
rally brings up the question of freedom of the press as it
applies — or should apply — to radio. The traditional mis-
trust of government control of or influence over the press
ia the foremost problem.
2 Goes to
It would appear that radio comes under the dear mean-
ing, if not the exact wordt^, of the fir.st amendment to the
Constitution: '^Congress shull mako no Jaw . . . abridg-
ing the freedom of Hpeet;h» or of the press." Yet for physi-
cal rea.sons, radio cannot operate free from some govern-
ment eontrol. And it iw very difficult in practice to draw
a clear line between partial control and complete control.
Conflicts of split ppmouallly
Out of the doal nature of radio aa a profit-making business
and a public service, numerous conflicts arise. Should
radio be essentially a medium for ;^eihng goods? Should it
fill more and more hours at higher rates with profitable
adverti.sements — accompanied by entertainment devices
for attracting listeners to the ads? K it does that, how
can it, as a sound, profit-making business venture, stop
short of crowding out the other, nonprofit function entirely?
At the least will it not be tempted to put profits ahead of
If such a trend sets in, would another radio system
eventually appear, supported in somtj other way, to meet
the public'.s need for undiluted news, commentaries, forums,
public announcemeTitw, and educational activities? If so,
would the present highly organized, skillfully led broad-
casting industry find that the goose that lays the golden
eg(r had quietly died?
On the other hand» should broadcasters consciously and
responsibly assume a double role? Can radio be at once a
pub lie- service medium and a private advertising medium?
Can broadcasters design a radio menu which balances in
proper proportions and separate^s in proper compartments
two items of diet so different? Accurate reporting of news,
truthful comment on public events, and unbiased presenta-
tion of political, economic, and social views call for one
set of principles. Plugs for hair tonic or claims for vita-
min pills, both exaggerated beyond the bounds of accuracy,
call for another seL
Can the radio string together quarter-hours of music,
comedy, commentary, and advertising gems without vio-
lating listener sensibilities and tastes? Can the station
owner and the iieU\-i»rk say to the adverti.sers who foot
thoir bills: "This kind of plu^^ yes. uml that kind, no. So
much time for ads and no mure"?
Chii they say to the person or the groi/p why would at-
tack their owji or their principal advertiser*s interest,
*'Yes, yon may have tfm*? and your fair share of time on
our schedule*'? Will radio, with television and facsimile
added, forego the technical advantage of unihed control
and centralized management V Should it L-onscicntiously do
so for the sake of avoiding monopoly control by keeping
ownership in many hands?
Does radio give anything like the skill, talent, and time to
educational purposes that it does to amusement? Should
it do so if radio is potentially equal, let us say, to btHiks,
magazines, and lecture halls as a serious educational in-
Possible sotiitions in the futurpz FM
These are the kinds of problems that radio, as an industry
serving hoth a public and a commercial function, will be
facing in the years ahead. The problems do not, however,
have to be met and solved within the present, framework
of the four networks and 900 stations now occupying the
5t50-1600 kilocycle range on the dial. Frequency modula-
tion broadcasting (FM), occupying a group of channels
higher up in the spectrum, is ready for extensive commer-
cial development. FCC can, if it desires, grant Fitf licenses
to 2,700 stations without their broadcasts interfering with
one another. One of the major networks has itself de-
clared that FM opens the way for six or more new net-
works as welL The technical characteristics of this newer
method of broadcasting may make it possible, therefore,
for a large number of stations to serve a single community.
FM aJso offers other opportunities for variety. With FCC
approval, a new set of noncommercial networks is being
[liannet^ Theso would link toijelher the endowed and pub-
iit cducatitinal in^^litulion.s eni?:a(j'f^d in broadcasting. Their
educational and other pobliL-servitt and cultural prograniB,
thuri, wonid all be under public educational authority and
be supported by taxation or endowment rather than ad-
vertising- ' "
This plan would place alongside commercial radio an
entirely public -service radio on a state-wide network basis.
And the request is for full morning-to-ni^ht service.
Subscription radio^ television^ and faatiinUe
The former head of a leadinf^ radio advertising agency has
also proposed so-called ^'subscription radio" for KCC ap-
proval. This is based on a recently invented device (pig-
squeal) which will permit broadcasting companies to trans-
mit programs only to those listeners who subscribe a certain
amount of money monthly. The scheme is somewhat like
the British system of supporting radio by imposing indi-
vidual license fees on each receiven
If frequencies are granted for such an enterprise, it will
be an interesting experiment in broadcasting paid for by
the listeners rather than by the advertisers. The daily
program would be completely free from advertising inter-
ruptions. Such programs wouid be on the same dial and
would compete directly with the commercial advertising
FM, at most, will gradually supplant our present trans-
mission-reception system by amplitude modulation. Tele-
vision, also in the ofiing, is a more radical innovation. Un-
like FM radio, its technical characteristics seem to call for
very expensive installations and high program production
costs. It may tend toward greater concentration of owner-
Possibly the highly -centralized motion -picture industry
may become a principal maker of television programs. The
broadcast networks interested in television clearly want to
keep the making of programs within their own control.
They would rather not serve merely as buyers and sellers
of programs made in advertiKing agency studios.
It woukl be foolhardy to predict what chefs will actually
make up the television menu, or what kind of food they
will .serve for the spectator-listener. But they are not
likely to be the same chefs who now serve the radio audi-
Facsimile broadcasting, which at some future date may
transmit printed bulletins by radio, will draw closer to-
gether the interests of newspapers and radio. It will pre-
sent new possibilities and new problems in the control and
communication of news. Facsimile will also make it pos-
sible to ''deliver" magazines and books to our homes by
Short-tcavff and international regulation
Finally, the war stimulated great development of interna-
tional short-wave broadcasting, entirely at the hands of
government agencies and for war purposes. The return of
peace will probably allow the government to step out of the
direct control and direct operation of short-wave facilities.
But short-wave radio is an international agency of com-
munication. Private broadcasters interested in developing
short-wave programs, therefore, feel that the federal gov-
ernment will have to exercise more control than it does in the
case of domestic radio. What form future American short-
wave broadcasting will take and precisely what role the
government will play in it have not yet been decided.
Radio waves — and short waves in particular — have no
respect for political boundaries. Just as their disregard of
state lines makes federal supervision necessary, so their
inability to stop at national borders calls for international
regulation. It's another case of having to create a superior
authority or set of rules in order to avoid impossible con-
To take the most obvious examples, radio stations in
Canada and the United States must stay off each other's
wave lengths. So must the stations in Europe's many na-
tions. The only way to solve effectively this and the many
other international problems of radio is by international
agreement. As new techniques of broadcasting are devel-
oped, the international as well as the domestic consequences
become more complex.
At the moment, then, radio bristles with unsolved prob-
lems of long standing, with new opportunities, and with
WHAT SOWTIOm HAVE OTHER
Up to this point we have seen how government control
of radio broadcasting started and grew — and why. We
have examined the present situation. We have looked at
the problems of the setup today and we have attempted to
foresee the new problems that tomorrow will bring.
In theory there are and will be three possible methods
of regulating radio and the related means of communica-
tion: (1) by strictly private, commercial interests in the
broadcasting business; (2) by a mixture of private and
governmental control; and (3) by complete government
control and ownership. In practice the first method is not
possible. The experience of confusion in the early life of
radio convinced everyone that purely private control will
not work. A "radio traffic cop" has to be put in authority
to regulate and enforce the assignment of scarce frequency
chauneia among the many bidders. Inasmuch as these chan-
nels are deemed to "belong" to all the people rather than
to the private businesses which are licensed to use them,
the government appears to be the only proper traHic con-
Opponents of further increase in the government's con-
troi over radio seek a counterbalance in an increased num-
ber of private interests brought into the field. As a de-
fense against the concentration of control in the hands of
the government, they suggest that universities, municipal
governments, trade unions, consumers' cooperatives, and
other noncommercial groups get into broadcasting. This
kind of development will be made possible with the many
new stations permitted throug'h frequency modulation.
As a practical matter, therefore, the question is not
whether radio should be privately or publicly regulated.
It is how much public regulation there should be.
The British BrouiU-asiing Corporation
Private control over broadcasting facilities and over pro-
gram content is greatest in the United States. In totali-
tarian countries broadcasting is a government monopoly,
supported out of tax funds and used to mobilize the support
of the people for the ruling clique. No free public discussion
is permitted. But government radio is not limited to totali*
For comparative purposes, the organization of radio in
Great Britain and the Dominions is most interesting to
Americans. In the Brilish Isles all broadcasting facihties
are owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Cor-
poration, a government agency. Since 1926, BBC has oper-
ated untler Royal Charter authorized by Parliament, The
management of the corporation is in the hands of a board
of governors appointed by the Cabinet. Ultimate responsi-
bility rests in the House of Commons.
Under its charter, which is renewed every ten years by
Parliamentary act, BBC is authorized to use broadcasting
as a means of "information, education and entertainment
in the nalronal interest," Some cntics of American broad-
casting orgranization point to Britain as an exampit? of how
the government can control radio and j^atisfy the public-
On the other hand, those who favor limiting the govern-
ment's power in radio argue that if a public agency con-
trols access to the air» freedom of discussion is curtailed
They also assert that BBC does not produce as good pro-
grams as we enjoy in the United States-
The way of tipo dominions
Canada and Australia provide examples of radio control
structure which are closer to our own. They may l>e called
mixed systems. In both those nationw. the government owns
and operates a national network and individual stations. In
addition, aw FCC does in the United Slates, it licenses pri-
vate operators who wish to broadcast. This setup has de-
veloped partly Ijecause of the large rural population, which
could not be served profitjibly by private broadcasting.
Broadcasting in Canada is controlled by a government
agency called the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
There are about 90 Canadian stations^ of which 8 or more
are ownetl anil operated by the government — -among them
the 4 most powerful stations in the country. CBC also pro-
vides network programs to private stations in much the
same way that the four major networks m the United
States do. Programs from all four American networks are
also distributed in Canada through the CBC. CBC regu-
lations are something like a mixture of FCC rules on the
one hand and the NAB Code on the other — but with the
Code made obligatory and thus fully effective.
In Australia a larger proportion — about one-third — of
the stations in operation are owned and managed by the
Australian Broadcasting ('ommission. which opi^rates the
one national network. The others are privately operated.
Stations owned by the government are supported by license
fees paid by the owners of receiving sets. Private stations
get their income from the sale of time. In Australia, the
government links its own stations to the commercial sta-
tions for important programs or news announcements.
Other countries have worked out differing mixtures of
government and private ownership and operation of radio.
They have set up schemes of support through various com-
binations of lax, license-fee, and advertising revenue.
Thus radio has not yet settled down to a single fixed
pattern in the democratic countries.
What is at slake?
Who is to control thia wonderful new medium of human
communication, and how? Essentially it is a problem of
deciding what kind of control involves the least risk and
promises the most technical and social progress. There is
little doubt about the objectives to be sought. Radio can be
used to help make the listener into a mechanical man — a
pawn of selfish interests. It may waste precious leisure
time. It may propagandize for ideas and schemes that will
On the other hand, it can serve the American public and
the world public hy strengthening men's knowledge about
themselves and the world in which they live. It can pro-
vide healthful amusement and entertainment. Through it
a man can become a better human being and a more in-
telligent, better informed citizen.
Radio can become a real community nervous system, an
invaluable instrument to unify and energize all the na-
tion's people and reach them all at once. It can distribute
essential facts, significant truths, relaxing amusement, and
inspiring artistic presentation.
The control of radio, therefore, ia one of the exciting
problems to be dealt with in the world now that the war
TO THE DISCUSSION LEADER
You HAVE a very live question In '*How far should ^overu-
Tnent control nulio?'' The present system of supervising
radio in the United States seems to be workijig pretty well ;
but as with all live things, radio is constantly presenting
its industry, its public, and its government with new jjrob-
lems to -solve. Will these new problems — FM. subscription
radio, facsimile radio, televisum — bring new forms of con-
trolV Who wili exorcise this control, and how? What dan-
gers lie in the extejision of Tederal control? Where can the
line be drawn Ijetween enough and too much regulation?
What are the disadvantages and advantages of our system
as compared w^ith the systems of radio supervision devel-
oped fn other demt>cratjc couJitries? These and a hundred
other ciiienstious can lead to highly stimulating and informa-
tive disc usa ion,
Orgttniziitfi your disfHsmion
In planning a short introductory talk, you might deal
briefly with these questions:
What conditions led to the creation of FCC in 1934?
How do(?s W.V. supervise radio? (Pages 13-22.)
What policies are enforced by the NAB Code? (Pages
Another practical way to gel background facts informally
before your group is io ask each ol" Ihree men to prepare
themselvea to answer one i>i' the above questions. They can
either speak from the floor or seat themaeWes as a panel
with you a.^ chairman. In the latter case they can help you
effectively to carry on with the diacussion which follows.
After you have cleared the ground for the discussion
proper, you will want to have ready an outline or Hat of
questions which will serve to remind you of major contro-
versial points that should be brought up for discussion.
**Questions for discussion" have been prepared to help you
in this. Probably you will want to ask a lead-off question
to get the talk started. When one main point has been
pretty well explored, you might step in with a very brief
summary of it and then raise another major question. Often
the questions will be raised for you. Then all you will need
to do is to recognize pertinent ones or to postpone consider-
ation of those that belong (ater in the discussion. This nelec-
tion of questions Is your chief function as discussion leader,
GI Ronndtable manuals are intended for general reading
by members of discussion groups as well as aids to leaders.
You wull find that discussion will be stimulated if as many
men as possible have read this pamphlet in advance. Get
the additional copies authorised, and put a number in the
library, dayrooms. service club, or other central location
where men may pick them up at leisure,
Detailed and practical suggestions for organizing and con-
ducting discussion groups in the Army are described iu
EM 1, GI Roundtable: Guide for Di&cusshn Leaders. If
you plan to broadcast roundtable discussions or forums on
station or sound systems of the Armed Forces Radio Serv-
ice, you will find excellent material on radio discussiozi tech-
niques in EM 90, GJ Radio Rontidiohle. Both can be requi-
sitioned liy infdrmnlion-edncalion officers from USAFl or
any USAFI overs^ii branch,
Qnestious for discussion
Do yon think that freedom of speech over the radio has
been restricted in any way by the licensing rules of FCC?
Is there any danger that it might be? Is there evidence that
advertisers control what shall be said over the radio on
controversial issues? Do you thinlc radio policies on con-
troversial issues are well handled under the voluntary NAB
Code? Should trade unions and consumers^ cooperatives be
l)ermitted to buy radio time? Are there any matters now
controlled voluntarily under the NAB Code that might prop-
erly be supervised by FCC?
Should radio be essentially a medium for selling goods?
Do ycm think enough time is given at present to "sustain-
ing programs" in the service oj" the public? Will the radio
industry^ as a sound, prolit-making business^ be tempted to
put profits ahead of public service? If such a trend sets
in, would yon want to see a nonprofit system which was
supported in some other way? Should such a system be
paid for by taxes or by private subscription? Can public
interest best be served by having competition enforced by
FCC licensing rules, limiting one station to one owner in
Do you think that FM will change the radio picture
greatly? Do you think that new noncommercial FM net-
works which are now being planned will be f-uccessful?
How should they be supported? Are they likely to offer stiff
competitioE to present commercial networks? Do you think
that subscription radio should be encouraged by FCC? Is
television so expensive that it can be supported only by
advertising? Do you think that the same people will plan
television programs who now prepare ^our radio fare? Will
the government have to esercise more control over inter-
national short-wave radio than it does over domestic radio?
What do you think should be the objectives of a demo-
cratic nation in working out a national policy for supervis-
ing radio? Where should we in the United States draw a
hne between government and private control of radio? Is
there a likelihood of more government control unless an in-
creased number of private interests are brought into the
field? How do other democratic countries supervise radio
in the public service? What are the advantages and dis-
advantages of the British system? Does the British system
api>ear to limit freedom of speech on the radio? Would
either the Canadian or Australian systems suit the United
FOR FURTHER READING
These books are sugg-estcd for supplementary reading if
you have access to them or wish to purchase them from the
publishers. They aru not approved nor officially supplied
by the War DeparlmenL The}'" have been selected because
they give additional information and represent different
points of view.
ABC OF Radio. By National Association of Broadcasters,
1760 N St, N.W., Washington 6, D. C. (1D3S). Free on
An ABC OF THE FCC. By the Federal Communications
Commission, Washington 25, D. C, (1940). Free on re-
National Policy for Radio Broadcasting. By Cornelia
B, Rose. Published by Harper and Brothers, 49 East 33rd
St., New York 16, N, Y. (1940). ?3.00.
Modern Radio. By Kingdon S. Tyler. Published by Har-
courtj Brace and Co., 383 Madison Ave., New York 17,
N. Y. (1944), 13.00.
OTHER G I ROUNDTABLE SUBJECTS
IHYRCDUCTORY COPIES of each ntw Gl Rottndlablt; pamphlet are auto-
miiticaUy issued to information-education officers in the United States
lUid ovei'sea iiretis* Additional copies are authorized on the basis of
one copy for each 25 military personnel. Paniphletg may be requisi-
tioned from the Uniteti Stiites Armed Foi'ces Institute^ Madison 3,
Wisconsin, or from the nearest USAFI Oversea Branch. List EM
number, title, and quantity. Xew subjects will ha announced as pub-
lished. (JI koundtabU .subjects now avfiilable:
Guide for Discussion Leaders
What Is Propaganda?
What Shall Bf Done about Germany atteh the War?
What Shall Be Done ^vjTit the War Criminals?
Oai^ We Prevent Future Wars?
How Sjiall Lend-Lea^k Accounts Bk Settled?
Is THE Goon Neighbor Poucy a Success?
What Shall Be Done about Japan after Victory?
What Has Alaska To Offer Postwar Pioneers?
WiiA. There Be Work for All?
W^HY Co-ops? What Are Thev? How Do They Work?
What Lies Auead for the Philippines?
What Is tjie Future of Television?
Can War Marriages Be Made To \\ork?'
Do You Want Your Wife To Work afteei tjik War?
Shall I BmLO a House after the War?
What ^Vill Your Town Be Like?
Shall I Go Back to School?
Shall I Take Up Farming?
Does It Pay To Borrow?
Will Thkr>; Be a Pi^ne in Evfjiy Garage?
Will the French EKntRLJC Live Aoain?
Our British Ally
Our Chinese Ally
The Ealkans^Many Peofi^:;?* Many Problems
Austrai.ia: Our Neiohbor "Down Unl*eb"
What Future for the Islands of the Pacific?
Our Russian Ally
Gl Radio Houndtable
For dietributiun in United ^^fulEs only.
For £a}e hy ihe Superintendcinl of DocumtntA^ U- S, ■Govemmetit I'rinLinsf Office
WrthhirPifilnn 2Tu li* <). - VvUt^ !'■ cvntH
^ y, S. eOVEI^NMENT PRINTING Qff!CE: mS-^714O0