Sunday, 11 January 2015

current affairs or crashing the pips

The British Broadcasting Company’s journalistic branch was created by royal charter in to establish a bureau independent of government influence for reporting for the public benefit.
Its first radio broadcasts came in November of 1922, but were relegated to the end of the day and were exclusively fed by the wire services and syndicates, wanting to avoid competition. The introduction that followed the pips (the series of electronic beeps first aired in 1924 that is the Greenwich Time Signal for the top of the hour) was “This is London calling. Here is the general news bulletin, copyright by Reuters, the Press Association, Exchange Telegraph, et al.” The embargo of the newspaper publishers came to an impasse when on Easter Weekend—18 April, in 1930, the announcer had to concede that there was emphatically no news to report today and played piano music instead. With the holiday, no stories were filtered into the radio station with enough time to prepare, plus there were indications that the public-relations ministries of the government were not above taking advantage of this lag in coverage to bury embarrassments. Soon afterwards, however, the BBC had marshaled an army of journalists and began producing original copy and stories.