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Encyclopedia of Political Communication

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Encyclopedia of Political Communication

Lynda Lee Kaid & Christina Holtz-Bacha

Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 21, 2008 | DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412953993 | Print ISBN: 9781412917995 | Online ISBN: 9781412953993 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.

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Communications Act of 1934

Robert Gobetz

The Communications Act of 1934 and its amendments is the foundation upon which contemporary U.S. telecommunication policy is built. The 1934 act borrowed heavily from the Radio Act of 1927, a temporary measure when it was passed, intended to stabilize the burgeoning but chaotic radio industry of the mid-1920s. The 1927 act was written into the 1934 act, adding communications via common carrier and television. By the early 1920s radio was a worldwide craze. Public demand for receivers was high with technology available to nearly everyone to make their own home-made receiver. New radio stations were signing on at a rapidly accelerating rate simply because they could; the Radio Act of 1912 declared the secretary of commerce to be the regulatory authority over radio, but the secretary was compelled by law to issue licenses to all who applied for one. In 1922 there were 5 radio stations on the air; ...

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