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England: Reporting The World

England: Reporting The World

Reporting The World

Many people around the world are familiar with the BBC or the British Broadcasting Corporation. But, how did the BBC become so huge, and how has it affected the way we learn about world events?

In 1922, the BBC became the world’s first national broadcasting organization. When the BBC launched its first radio service, its founders could never have imagined the impact it would have. By 1925, nearly 80% of England’s population was reached by the BBC in some way!

The popularity of radio spread throughout the 1930s, and people gathered together to listen to the news, sporting events, and other programs. The BBC also dabbled in the arts, commissioning programs on music and drama. Listening to radio shows was equal parts social and informational, and this new way of learning about current events spread quickly.

Television service arrived in 1936, but it didn’t last long – TV offerings were suspended when World War II broke out, and they didn’t resume until 1946. Thankfully, radio broadcasts were still permitted. These programs kept citizens up to date, and also offered a distraction from wartime stresses. Once the war ended and television programs were allowed again, the popularity of TV grew enormously, and the BBCcontinued growing it’s influence.

Why is the BBC so popular outside of England? In 1932, the BBC Empire Service was launched with broadcasts aimed primarily at English speakers living in overseas territories of the British Empire. And, as we’ve learned, the British Empire had plenty of influence around the world through its colonies.

In 1965, the BBC Empire Service changed its name to the BBC World Service. Today, millions of people around the world tune in to the BBC on television, on the radio, and online. As I travel throughout England as well as the former British Empire, I’m sure that the BBC will be how I stay up to date on current events!

Zoe

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