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Engineering the Public Interest, 1922-1925: Technological Rationality and Institutionalization of American Broadcasting
Unformatted Document Text:  18 DX listeners, most owners of expensive tube sets, in cities strongly opposed superpower because it was possible to get DX stations. One DX listener argued that the radio apparatus was built with “ideas of DX first, volume second, and quality third.” They wanted to continue the then-present system of small station propagation for their activities. The conflict of interests was being framed as one between owners of inexpensive radio sets in rural areas and DX listeners with expensive sets in cities. 45 Since the beginning of 1925, publicity efforts had been made through magazines and newspapers to persuade the listeners and direct people’s interests in long-distance listening toward actual programs sent from superpower stations. From the part of the superpower stations, it was to countervail blanket effects of superpower over signals of distant local stations. Hoyt Tailor, director of the Naval Radio Research Laboratory, argued for program benefits of superpower stations while criticizing the DXing hobby. More and more people are becoming interested broadcast listeners and a greater percentage of them are of the type who will not be much interested in picking up freak long distance stuff just for the sake of saying they have received some very remote station, as they will be in getting consistent and high-grade programs, free of interference from both natural and human sources. 46 In an interview in the mid-1925 with Radio News, J. H. Doellinger, Chief of the Radio Laboratory of the U. S. Bureau of Standards and president of the Institute of Radio Engineers, also approached the superpower issue in terms of listeners’ tastes in either long distance or programs. Like other supporters of superpower, he discouraged the use of sensitive receiving sets, saying that they were only for long distance reception, “not for quality reception.” The sensitive sets were raising the issue of interference from superpower stations. In discouraging long- distance fiends, the supporters promoted the use of a less sensitive set or a medium-sized set (e.g.,

Authors: Baek, Misook.
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18
DX listeners, most owners of expensive tube sets, in cities strongly opposed superpower because
it was possible to get DX stations. One DX listener argued that the radio apparatus was built with
“ideas of DX first, volume second, and quality third.” They wanted to continue the then-present
system of small station propagation for their activities. The conflict of interests was being framed
as one between owners of inexpensive radio sets in rural areas and DX listeners with expensive
sets in cities.
45
Since the beginning of 1925, publicity efforts had been made through magazines and
newspapers to persuade the listeners and direct people’s interests in long-distance listening
toward actual programs sent from superpower stations. From the part of the superpower stations,
it was to countervail blanket effects of superpower over signals of distant local stations. Hoyt
Tailor, director of the Naval Radio Research Laboratory, argued for program benefits of
superpower stations while criticizing the DXing hobby.
More and more people are becoming interested broadcast listeners and a greater
percentage of them are of the type who will not be much interested in picking up freak
long distance stuff just for the sake of saying they have received some very remote
station, as they will be in getting consistent and high-grade programs, free of
interference from both natural and human sources.
46
In an interview in the mid-1925 with Radio News, J. H. Doellinger, Chief of the Radio
Laboratory of the U. S. Bureau of Standards and president of the Institute of Radio Engineers,
also approached the superpower issue in terms of listeners’ tastes in either long distance or
programs. Like other supporters of superpower, he discouraged the use of sensitive receiving sets,
saying that they were only for long distance reception, “not for quality reception.” The sensitive
sets were raising the issue of interference from superpower stations. In discouraging long-
distance fiends, the supporters promoted the use of a less sensitive set or a medium-sized set (e.g.,


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