chapter  3
17 Pages

The “American System”

As early as 1922, some American journals praised the system that was emerging in Britain and relayed with sympathy British criticism of American radio; the Literary Digest reprinted part of an article from the Newark Call: “English analysis of the radio situation in this country is that we have gone ‘wireless crazy’ and have lost all perspective of the basic economic principle of broadcasting.” However, others favorably compared American radio to British, noting “striking similarity in the material chosen to entertain and instruct listeners here and abroad.” Some even claimed superiority for US radio, in distinction to criticisms that would be made later, as in this 1924 article from the New York Times:

American program directors have laid more stress on educational subjects than have the foreign studio managers. In England education lectures comprise a fair percentage of the program, but in the United States there is scarcely a station of any size, power, or importance that does not broadcast educational subjects. Nearly a

hundred American colleges and universities maintain and operate broadcasting stations.2