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Engineering the Public Interest, 1922-1925: Technological Rationality and Institutionalization of American Broadcasting
Unformatted Document Text:  25 it is evident at once that the granting of a license to a new station should not rest at all on so-called constitutional rights. The desires of the listeners who will be benefited or be disturbed by the new broadcast channel should rule the granting of the license. 67 When the discontinuation of licensing new stations became certain, some educational broadcasters started demanding their “right” of special treatment in allocating the airwaves and operating time. Educational institutions suffered for very small budgets to operate stations in competition with commercial broadcasting for a radio audience despite “a wealth of program material of entertainment as well as educational value.” 68 Jansky urged other educational broadcasters to argue for their “rights” to provide valuable educational material for the public service. His demand for “rights” of educational stations stood on educators’ understanding of Hoover’s public interest principle saying that “service to the listening public must be the basis for each broadcasting privilege and for all radio regulations.” In a letter to Earle M. Terry, a professor of department of physics at the University of Wisconsin, Jansky advised, “In preparing a report [for the Fourth Conference] on your difficulties and in asking for an adequate consideration of your needs—the needs of all university broadcasting stations, you must emphasize the fact that a university station has something to give to the public. We must be prepared to stand up for our rights.” 69 Jansky also pointed out that educators could not gain consideration of their rights unless they demanded. H. Umberger of Kansas State College called for special considerations for educational broadcasters to Conference participants and Department of Commerce. On behalf of the Department of Agriculture, the farmers, and agricultural colleges using radio, he emphasized their great personnel and material resources for educational and public service programs without additional cost. Umberger called for an “adequate, definite, and specific provision” for broadcasting bands enabling them to reach the needs of those services. The committee

Authors: Baek, Misook.
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25
it is evident at once that the granting of a license to a new station should not rest at all
on so-called constitutional rights. The desires of the listeners who will be benefited or
be disturbed by the new broadcast channel should rule the granting of the license.
67
When the discontinuation of licensing new stations became certain, some educational
broadcasters started demanding their “right” of special treatment in allocating the airwaves and
operating time. Educational institutions suffered for very small budgets to operate stations in
competition with commercial broadcasting for a radio audience despite “a wealth of program
material of entertainment as well as educational value.”
68
Jansky urged other educational broadcasters to argue for their “rights” to provide
valuable educational material for the public service. His demand for “rights” of educational
stations stood on educators’ understanding of Hoover’s public interest principle saying that
“service to the listening public must be the basis for each broadcasting privilege and for all radio
regulations.” In a letter to Earle M. Terry, a professor of department of physics at the University
of Wisconsin, Jansky advised, “In preparing a report [for the Fourth Conference] on your
difficulties and in asking for an adequate consideration of your needs—the needs of all university
broadcasting stations, you must emphasize the fact that a university station has something to give
to the public. We must be prepared to stand up for our rights.”
69
Jansky also pointed out that
educators could not gain consideration of their rights unless they demanded.
H. Umberger of Kansas State College called for special considerations for educational
broadcasters to Conference participants and Department of Commerce. On behalf of the
Department of Agriculture, the farmers, and agricultural colleges using radio, he emphasized
their great personnel and material resources for educational and public service programs without
additional cost. Umberger called for an “adequate, definite, and specific provision” for
broadcasting bands enabling them to reach the needs of those services. The committee


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