By Jeffrey Land
Energetic Radio: Pacifica's Brash scan (Commerce and Mass tradition)
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Additional info for Active Radio: Pacifica's Brash Experiment
Aware that one of the main legal complaints against Hoover’s authority over licensing was the charge of “capriciousness,” the Radio Act, in one of its most consequential gestures, enunciated the criteria of “public interest, convenience, and necessity” to guide the allocation of the soon to be scarce, valuable licenses. 20 THE RISE OF CORPORATE BROADCASTING The Radio Act’s phrase “public interest, convenience, and necessity” had its immediate origins in natural resource legislation of the late nineteenth century.
It is in this dialectic between enhanced production quality and variety, underwritten by burgeoning commercial sponsorship, that the ideology of popular entertainment as public service finds its grounding. Alternatives Educators had gravitated toward radio since the late 1890s. In 1906 Cornell University offered courses in radio and communication engineering. Later, and more important, radio broadcasting provided the host university with the ability to broadcast lectures and cultural programs, generating favorable publicity for “ivory tower” institutions.
11 Baldwin and the ACLU served as an important model for Hill and Pacifica. Baldwin, at times almost single-handedly, blazed the trail that Pacifica, among many, would ultimately follow. The trajectory of the AUAM into the ACLU highlights a core meaning of the First Amendment, which unites expressive and spiri- 32 LEW HILL’S PASSION AND THE ORIGINS OF PACIFICA tual questing in its language. (That the First Amendment has over the course of the twentieth century come to the fore in nonviolent activism raises an important question about the necessity of liberalism.