A look at how Government and Science Intertwine

Radio | Regulation | Television and News Media

Telecommunication is the mass projection of information through a system of distant communication. In other words, it is the transmission of data over a large distance. Historically, 'telecommunications' consisted of trumpets, beacons, smoke signals, and lights or lanterns. In modern society, through the developments of History and Science, telecommunications have greatly improved, and has become a staple of the global community. Modern Telecommunication could hardly be discussed without the mention of Radio and Television. However, few people know of the process of Transmission and Regulation that the radio and television industries utilize and experience on a daily basis.

Science/Social Studies Connections

Radio revolutionized warfare by allowing armies to communicate almost instantly. Radio was first used in WWI but required wire to be laid to allow communication. In the 20's radios became smaller and portable and were used more extensively. They helped the efficiency of tank warfare and allowed communication between vehicles. It also helped communications in the air and sea and some infantry members were given radios. But just as much as telecommunications has played a role in helping to develop modern warfare it has also seen its share of negative impact, like its use during the Vietnam War. For the first time ever people across the world where able to see the brutality and horrors of war brought right to their living rooms through the use of high frequency signals and mobile reporting.

As the power and range of telecommunications grew in the latter part of the 20th century more and more people gained access to the world from the comfort of their homes or anywhere they cared. Many of the lasts century's pivotal events where viewed or heard on the television or radio. Events such as the landing of the first men on the moon, the assassination of JFK, the Kent State shootings, the fall of the Berlin Wall and such natural disasters as Hurricane Andrew making land fall, all brought to the masses through the use of telecommunications and the human desire to further connect across the world.

However, as with everything through out history, radio came under strict scrutiny. As a result of this, the FCC was created in 1934 to help regulate content and usage of this relatively new technology. This historical event also impacted the physics behind radio broadcasting as it dictated to the producers and distributors what frequencies, modulation, and filters they were allowed to use.

Radio and television have had a profound impact on how culture has developed throughout the last century in America. The development of music on the national level would never have occurred were it not for the advent of both radio and recording technology. Television has irreversibly changed the culture of America, with major networks news broadcasts once dominating people’s perceptions of the events going on in the world, and recent developments such as blogs and Jon Stewarts “The Daily Show” taking the place of said broadcasts. The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson captivated America, and shows such as Saturday Night Live set the standard for funny.