Radio Broadcasting

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radio broadcasting

[′rād·ē·ō ′brȯd‚kast·iŋ]
Radio transmission intended for general reception.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Radio Broadcasting


the transmission by radio of, for example, speech or music to an unlimited number of listeners. It is one of the principal means of quickly disseminating information, conducting mass agitation and propaganda, and educating the population. In countries with well developed broadcasting systems, 90 percent of the population listens to broadcasts for 1½ to 2 hours a day. Radio broadcasting is second only to television as a means of organizing leisure time.

There are three principal categories of broadcast genres. First, informational sociopolitical broadcasts include newscasts, reportage, commentary, interviews, and discussions. Second, artistic-publicistic broadcasts include the radio sketch, the radio film, and the radio composition. Third, artistic broadcasts include radio dramatizations and radio plays. In addition, performances of literary and musical works of all genres may be broadcast, as may stage plays and operas specially adapted for radio. Among the most popular types of present-day programs are the newscast, the radio newspaper, and the radio magazine.

Radio programs are broadcast by radio transmission centers and are received by radio broadcast receivers used by individuals or groups of people. Wired broadcasting is widely used in the USSR and a number of other countries.

Radio was invented and first used as a means of communication in Russia; A. S. Popov was responsible for these achievements. The first Russian radio stations for transmitting business information were built at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

The USSR. From the very first years of Soviet power, radio was used not only as a means of communication but also as a source of information. Beginning in November 1917, the radiotelegraph was used to transmit decrees of the Soviet government, reports on the most important events in the life of the country and on the international situation, and V. I. Lenin’s speeches. One of the immediate tasks of the government was the creation of the material and technical basis for radio broadcasting. In 1918 the Council of People’s Commissars established a commission to work out plans for the development of radiotelegraphy. A number of high-power transmitting stations were transferred from the military administration to the People’s Commissariat for Posts and Telegraphs. The Council of People’s Commissars adopted a decree on the centralization of radio-engineering work in the country. The first transmissions of radio broadcasts took place in 1919 from the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Laboratory. Beginning in 1920, transmissions were also made from experimental broadcast stations in such cities as Moscow and Kazan.

The Communist Party and the Soviet government assigned great importance to radiofication as the principal means of developing radio broadcasting. In 1920, Lenin wrote to M. A. Bonch-Bruevich, the head of the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Laboratory: “I take this opportunity of expressing to you my deepest gratitude and sympathy for the great work of radio inventions which you are carrying on. The newspaper without paper and ‘without distances’ which you are bringing into being will be a great achievement” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 51, p. 130).

In 1922, in his letters to J. V. Stalin for the members of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the RCP(B), Lenin formulated the main points of the program for complete radiofication of the country (ibid., vol. 45, pp. 194–96). In the same year, the first narrative broadcasts through loudspeakers began; the broadcasts, however, did not yet take place on a regular basis. The first radio concerts were put on the air by the Nizhny Novgorod Radio Laboratory. The establishment and popularization of radio broadcasting during the 1920’s were assisted by the mass amateur radio movement, which began developing in 1922, after the Comintern Radio Station in Moscow went on the air. Two organizations established in 1924 also contributed to the development of broadcasting: the Society of Friends of Radio and the joint-stock company Radio Transmission, whose original name was Radio for All. The members of Radio Transmission were the People’s Commissariat for Posts and Telegraphs, the Supreme Council on the National Economy, the Russian Telegraph Agency, and the All-Russian Electrical Trust of Low-current Factories. Regular broadcasting began on November 23, 1924, when the first “issue” of a radio newspaper was broadcast. In 1925, the Radio Commission of the Central Committee of the RCP(B) was organized for overall supervision of radio broadcasting. In the same year, there was established the Radio Council of the Central Political Education Committee of the People’s Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR; the council was charged with developing the principal lines of broadcasting.

During the twenties, such broadcast genres as radio reportage, radio discussion, and radio commentary appeared, and such program types as the radio newspaper and the radio magazine took shape. In 1925 the first radio reportage from Red Square in Moscow on the commemoration of the October Revolution took place. In the same year, the first broadcasts for children began: Radio Little Octobrist, Radio Pioneer (later called Pioneer Dawn), and Cultural Heritage for Our Children. The first young people’s broadcast, Young Leninist, began in the same year. The year 1926 saw the first broadcasts of Peasants’ Radio Newspaper, Workers’ Radio Newspaper, and ethnographic concerts. Regular broadcasting was organized in several union republics between 1925 and 1927; radio stations went on the air in Minsk, Baku, Kharkov, Tashkent, Leningrad, Kiev, and Tbilisi.

Speeches by government figures have been a tradition in Soviet radio since the 1920’s. During the mid-1920’s, a public discussion was conducted on the social purpose of broadcasting and on the place of broadcasting among other art forms and other means of aesthetic education. This discussion contributed to the development of broadcast types and genres, particularly in the area of literary and dramatic broadcasting.

In 1927 the Council of People’s Commissars adopted a decree aimed at improving artistic programs. Such writers as V. V. Mayakovsky, A. N. Afinogenov, D. Bednyi, E. G. Bagritskii, F. V. Gladkov, V. V. Ivanov, and L. M. Leonov took part in the preparation of literary broadcasts. Regular surveys under the title Literature for the Masses familiarized listeners with the works of Soviet writers and with the classical literary heritage. Radio was used to popularize the music of the peoples of the USSR. Lecture concerts explained the principal periods in the history of world music. The 1920’s saw the first listener-request music broadcasts and the first broadcasts of operas from the Bolshoi Theater of the USSR. In 1925 the first discussions and lectures on sociopolitical, engineering, and scientific topics went on the air. During the late 1920’s and early 1930’s, radio universities were created to educate the population. There were worker, peasant, communist, and Komsomol radio universities, and the number of radio correspondence students reached 80,000.

Between 1928 and 1933 the power of Soviet radio broadcast stations increased eightfold. In 1931 the All-Union Committee for Radio Broadcasting was established in the People’s Commissariat for Posts and Telegraphs; 12 local committees were organized in republics and oblasts in 1932. Effective new broadcast types and genres appeared: the radio conference call; the ail-Union radio meeting, which first went on the air in 1929; and radio reportage directly from construction sites, which first took place in 1930. The Central Committee of the ACP(B) adopted in 1931 the decree On Restructuring the Worker and Village Correspondents’ Movement. The decree advised the radio committees to make wider use of such mass activities as spot checks and visiting teams, to increase cooperation with worker and village correspondents, and to create and develop new types of broadcasts on the basis of workers’ letters.

In accordance with the decree On Restructuring the Literary-Artistic Organizations, which was issued in 1932, the themes, types, and genres of artistic radio programs were broadened. Those who took part in this work included such writers as A. Serafimovich, M. A. Svetlov, N. A. Ostrovskii, I. P. Utkin, and K. G. Paustovskii and such actors as D. N. Orlov, V. I. Kachalov, I. M. Moskvin, and M. I. Babanova. New works by such composers as D. D. Shostakovich, Iu. A. Shaporin, S. S. Prokofiev, and D. B. Kabalevskii were first performed on radio. Music broadcasts acquainted listeners with professional performers and with the best amateur groups. Broadcasting of the regular newscast Latest News began in 1932. The Council of People’s Commissars approved in 1933 the Statute of the All-Union Committee for Radiofication and Radio Broadcasting of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR. Administrations for radiofication, central broadcasting, and local broadcasting were established under the committee. In 1936 the Radio Committee instituted five broadcasting programs, whose makeup took into account time zones and the language differences in the various parts of the country. The first all-Union radio festival, which took place in 1936, marked the beginning of the exchange of radio programs between the republics of the country. In the system for sociopolitical broadcasting independent editorial boards were formed in the 1930’s for rural, army, young people’s, and sports broadcasts. An important place in programming was occupied by defense and sports topics. V. S. Siniavskii was the founder of radio sports reportage, which developed as a genre in this period.

Specialized periodicals devoted to the problems of radio played an important role in improving broadcasting. Examples are the journal Radiofront, which was founded in 1925 and called Radiovsem until no. 19; Govorit SSSR, which was established in 1931; and the weekly newspaper Novosti radio, which was founded in 1925.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, there were broadcast 2,000 radio summaries from the Soviet Information Bureau. In addition, 2,300 broadcasts of Latest News and more than 8,000 broadcasts of Letters From the Front and Letters to the Front were made. An important place in the programs was occupied by surveys of newspapers, information from TASS, and reports from the front. Thus, Latest News carried approximately 7,000 reports from the army in the field. In contrast to other countries, broadcasting in the USSR during the war was not interrupted and continued to be carried on over more than one program. Regular broadcasts were made to partisans and the population of temporarily occupied regions. The leaders of the Soviet government often appeared on the programs of All-Union Radio. In 1944 the Council of People’s Commissars adopted a decree on measures for strengthening the material and technical basis of Central Broadcasting. A decree adopted in 1945 proclaimed May 7 as Radio Day in commemoration of A. S. Popov’s demonstration on May 7, 1895, of the operation of the receiver he had invented for wireless signals.

In 1948, All-Union Radio began broadcasting three programs for a total of 45 hours of programming a day. The complete radiofication of the kolkhozes was undertaken. The Chief Editorial Board for Young People’s Broadcasting was established in 1956; its principal broadcast is the radio newspaper Komsomoliia Calling. On Oct. 1, 1960, All-Union Radio introduced 24-hour broadcasting. The total amount of programming increased to 78 hours a day in 1961. In 1962 the new Statute on Broadcasts of All-Union Radio was adopted. It called for a specific and exact definition of the content and genre of planned programs and for the organization of seasonal—fall-winter and spring-summer—broadcasting networks. The first program of the radio station Iunost’ went on the air in 1962. The first young people’s broadcasts of the republic and krai radio committees appeared—for example, Young Romantics of Primor’e, the Byelorussian Young People’s Program, Young Guard (in Ukrainian), and Club of Estonia’s Young Reporters. In 1963, Program 5 began operation; it was intended for Soviet citizens living abroad and for foreign listeners. Program 2 was reorganized into the information and music program Maiak in 1964. During the 1950’s and 1960’s there appeared such popular broadcasts as Leninist University of the Millions, the radio magazine Land and People for rural listeners, On the Teletype, and International Commentators at the Round Table.

Children’s programming includes the popular broadcasts Radio Theater for Children, Young Pioneer Reveille, Club of Famous Captains, and Guess What It Is.

The sociopolitical radio magazine Coevals was begun in 1963. Series of artistic scientific broadcasts, educational broadcasts, and teaching broadcasts—such as Radio for the Lesson—are also produced for children.

Several series of broadcasts were devoted to the 50th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution—for example, The Chronicle of Great October, The Year 1917; 50 Fiery Years; and the monthly Leninist Almanac. The 100th anniversary of Lenin’s birth was commemorated by such series as The Years of a Great Life: Pages From the Biography of V. I. Lenin; Reminiscences About Lenin; The Feat of the Party and the People; Lenin’s Lesson for Young People; and Literary Leniniana.

In 1962 the Central Committee of the CPSU adopted the resolution On Measures for Further Improvement of the Work of Radio and Television. In accordance with this resolution, the technical conditions for program reception are being improved everywhere, and the exchange of programs between Moscow, the republics, and the oblasts, is being broadened. In addition, training courses for radio and television personnel have been organized; in 1974, courses existed in 19 higher educational institutions and scientific research institute. Finally, the participation of the general public in the creation of programs has been enlisted.

Literary and dramatic programming acquaints listeners with the best works of Russian, Soviet, and foreign literature. Well-known novels and stories are staged as radio plays. Leading Soviet actors perform in radio theater. New broadcast forms have appeared, such as one-act plays or dramatized shows. There is production on a systematic basis of music-education broadcasts, lecture concerts, concerts of music requested by listeners, music reviews, concerts by amateur performers, musical shows, and radio short stories. The music of foreign countries is aired on series of broadcasts that may last a week, ten days, or a month. Various musical organizations of All-Union Radio take part in the preparation of the broadcasts—for example, the Great Symphony Orchestra, the Variety Symphony Orchestra, the Russian Folk Instrument Orchestra, the Great Chorus, the Russian Folk Song Chorus, and the Soviet Song Ensemble.

Several popular broadcasts are conducted on the basis of listeners’ letters. Examples are lunost’ Army Post Office, As You Requested, Worker’s Noon, Poetic Notebook, and In the World of Words. Other popular broadcasts include economic advice and information on various problems. All-Union Radio received 511,000 letters from listeners in 1974.

In keeping with the traditions of the radio universities of the 1920’s, various educational programs are produced. These include special teaching broadcasts used as classroom aids and general educational broadcasts, which may assist in political self-education or may be concerned with literature and art. Radio University of Culture is an example of such a program.

Programs to be broadcast within the Soviet Union are prepared by the chief editorial boards of the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Television and Radio. There are boards for propaganda, information (the program Maiak), children’s programming, young people’s programming (the radio station lunost’), literary and dramatic programming, musical programming, programming for the city of Moscow, and programming for Moscow Oblast. Problems of the organization of radio broadcasting and of the monitoring of broadcasts are under the purview of the following organizations of the State Committee: the chief Directorates for Central Television and for Radio, which were established in 1970; the Center for Scientific Programming, which was founded in 1970; the State House of Broadcasting and Sound Recording; the All-Union Scientific Research Institute for Television and Radio, which was founded in 1957; and the Institute for Advanced Training of Workers in Television and Radio, which was established in 1970.

The radio broadcasting system covers the entire territory of the USSR. Broadcasts are conducted in more than 60 languages of the peoples of the USSR and 70 languages of the peoples of other countries. In 1975 the average daily amount of programming for the population of the USSR was more than 1,000 hours. The radio broadcast stations of the USSR are first in Europe in total power. The most powerful stations in the world are in the USSR. Wired broadcasting is carried out through 35,000 relay stations; more than 400 cities have three separate programs. There are more than 60 million radio receivers and more than 50 million loudspeakers. Stereophonic broadcasting is growing.

In 1975, All-Union Radio had five principal programs and an average of 150 hours of programming a day. The main program is Program 1. It carries broadcasts of an informational, sociopolitical, and artistic nature for the entire Soviet Union. It includes the newscast Latest News and daily reviews of central newspapers. One of the program’s oldest broadcasts is Workers’ Radio Newspaper. The radio magazine Land and People is produced for the rural population. Other popular broadcasts include Man and Law, I Serve the Soviet Union, Health, the program of the radio station lunost’, Theater at the Mike, the review Theater and Life, Literature and Art Abroad, and Musical Evenings. Program 1 also carries broadcasts for children. The average daily amount of broadcasting is 20 hours. The program is transmitted by radio stations of three synchronous networks. Three editions of Program 1 are prepared for broadcasting in different time zones: for Western Siberia, the republics of Middle Asia (except the Turkmen SSR), and Kazakhstan; for Eastern Siberia; and for the Far East.

Program 2—Maiak—is a 24-hour information and music program. It carries news of events in the USSR and abroad and acquaints listeners with the best works of Soviet and foreign music. The music is broadcast in the intervals between periods devoted to information, which last five to seven minutes and occur every half hour. The program is transmitted simultaneously to all parts of the country.

Program 3 carries general educational, literary, and musical broadcasts. It includes documentaries; radio plays; creative portraits of writers, playwrights, composers, and actors; and broadcasts for students to supplement the curricula of the schools. The average daily amount of programming is 14 hours.

Program 4 is dedicated to music. It familiarizes listeners with the works of world music and with the art of outstanding performers. The program is transmitted by metric waves. Since February 1974 the wavelength 4.16 meters has been used for stereophonic broadcasts for an average of four hours a day.

Program 5 operates around the clock. It carries broadcasts of an informational, sociopolitical, and artistic nature and is intended for Soviet citizens outside the USSR, such as seamen, fishermen, and polar research workers.

Broadcasts are transmitted daily from 160 centers containing equipment and studios. In 1974 there were 164 krai and oblast committees for television and radio and five okrug radio editorial boards.

In 1975 the system controlled by the State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Television and Radio encompassed 14 union republic committees; 154 oblast, krai, and okrug committees, with 85 in the RSFSR and 69 in other republics; and 341 city editorial boards for radio broadcasting, with 164 in the RSFSR and 177 in other republics. The work of the local committees concerning program topics and structure and the time of commencement of daily broadcasting is coordinated with the program of All-Union Radio. The local committees also prepare, on a regular basis, broadcasts on the life of the republics, krais, and oblasts for All-Union Radio.

The average daily amount of local broadcasting exceeds 1,000 hours. In 1974 the average daily amount of broadcasting by the republic radio committees was, in hours, as follows: Azerbaijan SSR, 32.5; Armenian SSR, 36.1; Byelorussian SSR, 20; Georgian SSR, 23.2; Kazakh SSR, 37.5; Kirghiz SSR, 22; Latvian SSR, 28; Lithuanian SSR, 32.5; Moldavian SSR, 30.6; Tadzhik SSR, 26.5; Turkmen SSR, 23; Uzbek SSR, 35; Ukrainian SSR, 39.6; and Estonian SSR, 29.6. The total average amount of daily broadcasting by the local radio committees of the RSFSR was 385 hours. Local broadcasting is generally carried on over three programs.

The section “Press, radio and television” in the articles of the encyclopedia on the Union and autonomous republics contains further information. Radio broadcasting in the krais and oblasts of the USSR is discussed in the corresponding articles.

Regular broadcasting by Radio Moscow to foreign countries began in 1929, first in German and then in French, English, and other languages. The broadcasts explain the worldwide historic significance of the building of communism in the USSR and of socialism in the countries of the world socialist system.

During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45, broadcasts were started in such languages as Greek, Turkish, Persian, and Norwegian; broadcasting was begun to India, the countries of the Near East, China, Japan, and the western part of the USA. Radio Moscow was a source of objective information on the course of the war. At the request of a branch (now the independent radio and television corporation American Broadcasting Company) of the National Broadcasting Company of the USA, Radio Moscow organized for the USA a program that was rebroadcast by 96 American radio stations. During the 1960’s the average daily amount of broadcasting to foreign countries was 140 hours in 46 foreign languages and ten languages of the peoples of the USSR. The number of broadcasts to the countries of Africa, the Far East, and Southeast Asia was increased. In 1964 the radio station Mir i Progress was established as an organ of Soviet public organizations. The mail periods, where answers are given to listeners’ questions, are very popular with listeners. In 1974 the total amount of foreign broadcasting exceeded 200 hours a day; broadcasts were made in 70 languages. More than 100,000 letters were received that year.

Among the many persons who have worked in the musical organizations of All-Union Radio are the conductors B. A. Aleksandrov, N. S. Golovanov, A. V. Gauk, V. N. Knushevit-skii, Iu. F. Nikol’skii, A. I. Orlov, L. P. Piatigorskii, and G. N. Rozhdestvenskii; the chorus leaders I. M. Kuvykin and A. V. Sveshnikov; and such soloists as G. A. Abramov, D. V. Dem’ia-nov, V. A. Bunchikov, Z. N. Dolukhanova, N. A. Kazantseva, O. V. Kovaleva, V. A. Nechaev, N. P. Rozhdestvenskaia, G. P. Sakharova, and I. P. Iaunzem. The actors and directors who have taken an active part in creating literary, dramatic, and children’s broadcasts include O. N. Abdulov, N. A. Aleksan-drovich, T. K. Almazova, Z. A. Bokareva, V. S. Geiman, R. M. Ioffe, N. S. Kiselev, N. V. Litvinov, V. A. Sperantova, T. I. Chis-tiakova, and N. S. Tsyganova. The most important sound engineers have been V. V. Fedulov, G. A. Braginskii, A. V. Gros-man, D. I. Gaklin, and A. M. Rymarenko. The leading announcers have been M. I. Lebedev, E. A. Ot’iasova, V. V. So-lov’iev-Vsevolodov, V. N. Balashov, O. S. Vysotskaia, B. B. Gertsik, Iu. B. Levitan, and N. A. Tolstova.

The record and tape library of All-Union Radio is a repository for unique transcriptions of, for example, a documentary, literary, or musical nature. In 1975 it contained more than 100,000 transcriptions and more than 140 million kilometers of tape. About 400 hours of new transcriptions are added to the collection each year.

The State Committee of the Council of Ministers of the USSR for Television and Radio publishes several periodicals. The weekly Govorit i pokazyvaet Moskva was founded in 1958; until January 1974 it was called Govorit Moskva. The monthly journal Televidenie i radioveshchanie was founded in 1957; until no. 11, 1970, its title was Sovetskoe radio i televidenie. The monthly magazine with records Krugozor began appearing in 1964; its children’s supplement, Kolobok, was begun in 1969.

Abroad. The first regular broadcast station abroad was set up by the American company Westinghouse and began operation on Nov. 2, 1920, in Pittsburgh, USA. In Western Europe, the first radio programs went on the air in 1922; they were broadcast by the Marconi Company in London and by Radio-Paris in Paris. In 1923 radio stations began operation in Germany, Belgium, and Czechoslovakia. Between 1924 and 1926, stations opened in 14 other countries, including Hungary, Poland, Rumania, Yugoslavia, and Japan. Broadcasting was begun in Bulgaria in 1929. Since the late 1940’s transmitting and receiving networks have been developed everywhere, and high-power transmitters have been built. The number of radio receivers in the world has more than doubled every ten years. In 1960 there were 348 million radio receivers in the world. In the mid-1970’s, there were 845.6 million; the population of the world then was 3.739 billion. The number of radio receivers, in millions, grew over this period from 82.7 to 165.2 in Western Europe, from 31.8 to 80.3 in the socialist countries of Europe (including the USSR), from 5.7 to 20.9 in Africa, from 190 to 394.4 in North and South America (including the growth in the USA from 156 to 320), from 32.2 to 155.4 in Asia; and from 3.2 to 10.8 in Australia and Oceania.

In many countries, for example, Bulgaria, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, Rumania, Italy, France, and Japan, broadcasting is carried on by means of three specialized national programs—information, entertainment, and education. Most countries have around-the-clock musical programming.

In the socialist countries, the basic organizational principles and tasks of broadcasting are defined by state law. Radio broadcasting is generally controlled by state committees for television and radio, and broadcasts are available to virtually the entire population. In 1974 the German Democratic Republic had 5.8 million radio receivers, Poland 5.8 million, Czechoslovakia 3.9 million, Hungary 2.6 million, Rumania 3.1 million, Bulgaria 2 million, Yugoslavia 3.8 million, and Cuba 2 million. The use of wired broadcasting is growing. In some countries, wired radio covers 25 to 30 percent of the population. The coordination of radio and television programs is based on the principles of mutual complementation and contrast.

In the developed capitalist countries, radio broadcasting is primarily governmental in nature, even if it is carried out by licensed semigovernmental organizations, such as Radioaudi-zioni Italia (RAI) in Italy, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in Great Britain, and the Office de Radiodiffusion Télévision Française (ORTF) in France. Only in the USA are private companies responsible for radio broadcasting. The source of income for these companies is not subscription fees or state subsidies but the sale of broadcast time to the large monopolies for advertising. A number of countries—such as Japan, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain—have a mixed system with both government and commercial broadcasting services. In Luxembourg there operates the very large commercial station Radio Luxembourg, which is devoted to music and entertainment.

The USA occupies a special place among the capitalist countries with regard to radio broadcasting. It lacks centralized radio programs that cover the whole country. The four networks—American Broadcasting Company, National Broadcasting Company, Columbia Broadcasting System, and Mutual Broadcasting System—for the most part merely supply their local affiliated stations with the news of the hour in five-minute newscasts, of which 1½ minutes consist of advertising. The 7,500 radio stations in the country have transmission ranges of 35 to 60 miles. Advertising occupies 20 to 25 percent of the broadcast time; the stations also broadcast music, national news, and local news. Stations may specialize in a music format or a talk format. Music stations may feature, for example, rock and roll, truckers’ music, or folk music. Talk stations may present news and information or may carry talk shows, including audience-involvement shows where listeners take part by means of the telephone. The main goal of commercial radio is to provide a maximum number of listeners for the advertisers. The advertising income of American radio is $1.2 billion annually; only the press and television derive a greater income from advertising. The university stations and noncommercial cultural and educational stations that make up National Public Radio are not in a position to compete with the commercial stations and have a very small audience.

In the developing countries of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, radio is the most widespread and generally accessible means of providing information and education. In the 1930’s and 1940’s—before the winning of independence—radio services were created by the colonial administrations of many of these countries. These administrations copied the structures of European companies and pursued the goal of strengthening communication with the mother country. Consequently, not only did the new national governments have to bring up to date and strengthen the material and technical basis for broadcasting, they also had to carry out a fundamental review of its purpose. The government is generally in charge of broadcasting. Commercial radio stations are few; the best known commercial station is that of Sri Lanka (Ceylon), whose entertainment programs are received throughout Southeast Asia. About 50 percent of the programs of the radio services is devoted to national music; the remaining time is divided approximately equally between informational, sociopolitical, and educational broadcasts. At the initiative of UNESCO, what are called radio forums have been established in a number of countries. These forums provide programs for group listening in clubs. Programs for rural radio forums are devoted, for example, to questions of personal hygiene and farming and to the fundamentals of civil law.

The expansion of radio broadcasting in developing countries has been assisted by UNESCO and other international organizations. The oldest such organization is the International Telecommunication Union, which was established in 1865; its headquarters is in Geneva. The main function of the union is the allocation of radio frequencies. Practically all the countries of the world are members. Most socialist countries are members of the International Radio and Television Organization, which was founded in Brussels in 1946. The Western European countries are members of the European Broadcasting Union, which was established in 1950; its administrative headquarters is in Geneva, and its technical headquarters in Brussels. Other large international organizations for radio and television are the Inter-American Association of Broadcasters, which was founded in 1946; the Union of National Radio and Television Organizations of Africa, whose statutes were first drafted in 1960; and the Asian Broadcasting Union, which was founded in 1964.

Further information is contained in the section “Press, radio, and television” in articles of the encyclopedia on individual countries.


Lenin o radio. [Compiled by P. S. Gurevich and N. P. Kartsov. Moscow, 1973.]
Kazakov, G. Leninskie idei o radio. Moscow, 1968.
Ocherki istorii sovetskogo radioveshchaniia i televideniia, part 1: 1917–1941. Moscow, 1972.
Problemy televideniia i radio, fascs. 1–2. Moscow, 1967–71. (Contains accounts of research, criticism, and materials for research.)
Sovremennost’, Chelovek: Radio, fascs. 1–2. Moscow, 1968–70.
Zarva, M. Slovo v efire: O iazyke i stile radioperedach. Moscow, 1971.
Gal’perin, Iu. Chelovek s mikrofonom. Moscow, 1971.
Marchenko, T. Radioteatr. Moscow, 1970.
Rezhissura radiopostanovok: Sb. Statei. Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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