Three decades ago this month, radio instituted a fundamental change in the U.K. It was at that point that the opaque processes of government first saw the light of public scrutiny as the BBC began its historic broadcast from the House of Commons.
[…] all that was usually heard from the Palace of Westminster was the sound of Big Ben.
But from 3 April 1978 the mystique of what really happens in the corridors of power was shattered forever.
Gone was the rather reverential treatment of politicians by parliamentary reporters.
Instead broadcasters got to relay speeches and debates in all their glory to a public that was actually fascinated by the novelty of being able to hear their MPs at work for the first time.
At the time, it was a bold and innovative move, one that had a profound and far reaching effect on the British culture. It is that spirit of innovation which is going to carry radio through the 21st Century and beyond.
Radio is not just a medium, it is a cultural force and creator of community. While it already possesses a near infinite variety of content, it is now evolving into wide variety of platforms. Take a look at the progress in this regard that is shown throughout our prior posts here on the blog. It has a long and impressive history as a medium, one which can be used to help divine its future.
Image: Screencapture of BBC article “Parliament’s radio revolution“