What is Broadcasting?
Sending entertainment and information via mass electronic media to the general public
BROADCASTING is the practice of creating audio and video program content and distributing it to the mass audiences of radio, television and Internet media.
A broadcast control room courtesy of the University of Oklahoma
To broadcast is to send entertainment and information via one-way electronic media to the general public.
Broadcasts usually are intended for recreation, enlightenment, education, experimentation or emergency messaging.
Broadcasters are the professionals working in the various electronic mass media.
Broadcast history in brief
Timeline of radio and television history »
- 1800s, the technology for broadcasting began to develop.
- 1906, Reginald Fessenden made a brief Christmas Eve broadcast of voice and music from Massachusetts to ships at sea. He read passages from the Bible and played O Holy Night on his violin.
- 1900-1920, radio was seen as most useful for two-way communication, although some early broadcast experimenters continued to send out one-way radio transmissions to inform and entertain the general public.
- 1920, KDKA at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, became the first continuously-scheduled radio broadcast station. What are radio stations? »
- 1930s, international broadcasting began via shortwave radio. What is shortwave radio? »
- 1940s, the mass use of black and white television for the general public started after World War II.
- 1950s, color television was developed.
- 1970s, FM radio stations began to flourish. Until then, most radio stations had been AM.
- 1980s, satellite television broadcasting began.
- 1990s, the World Wide Web opened.
- 1990s, satellite radio broadcasting.
- 2000s, iTunes, podcasting, YouTube, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter.
What does a broadcaster do?
The term broadcast originally referred to the sowing of seeds by hand on farm fields. Early radio broadcasters saw their work as scattering signals across the land.
A radio station creates audio (sound) while a television station creates audio and video. The audio or audio and video are packaged as programs, which are transmitted through the air as radio waves from a transmitter to an antenna to a receiver. They also can be transmitted through computer networks locally and internationally. Broadcast stations can be linked in networks to broadcast common programming.
The main intention of those working in the broadcast profession is to provide their audiences with entertainment as well as information they need to function in society.
There are many different jobs in broadcasting. For instance:
account executives advertising sales persons.
actors perform in programs.
analysts analyze, interpret and broadcast news and sports.
announcers read news and information.
broadcast journalists gather, package and deliver news.
camera operators operate studio cameras.
continuity directors schedule and produce commercials.
correspondents advanced news reporters.
directors create programs.
disc jockeys play music.
editors assemble video and audio for productions.
engineers care for technical equipment.
news directors manage news teams.
news reporters gather and present news information.
news writers prepare news information to be read.
producers plan and develop programs.
program directors plan and develop programs.
station managers coordinate all station activities.
talent performs on camera.
technical directors direct control room activity.
videographers shoot news video.
weather reporters gather and present weather information.
Bureau of Labor Statistics - broadcasting jobs »
Some broadcast lingo
Broadcast Glossary »
antenna: a metal conductor through which radio waves are sent or received, aka: aerial.
broadcast: a program of entertainment and information sent via one-way electronic media to the general public.
broadcasting: the practice of creating audio and video program content and distributing it to the mass audiences of radio, television and Web media.
interpersonal communication: one-on-one or face-to-face communication among people
mass communication: one-way communication to a public via a mass medium such as newspaper, magazine, book, radio, television, the Web, etc.
mass media: systems and devices such as newspaper, magazine, book, radio, television or the Web, for sending one-way communication to a public.
medium/media: an intermediate device such as newspaper, magazine, book, radio, television or the Web, for carrying one-way communication to a public. Medium is singular. Media is plural.
news: information about recent and important events.
one-way communication: information carried to an audience without need for immediate feedback, aka one-to-many.
radio: transmission of intelligence by modulating waves of electromagnetic radiation at specific frequencies. Radio signals are said to travel over the air.
receiver: a device that gathers radio or television signals and presents their programs to the audience.
station: transmits information and entertainment programs to a mass audience, either over the air or via streaming Internet media.
telecast: a television broadcast
television: a mass medium for transmitting and receiving video images and sound.
transmitter: a device that sends radio or television programs to a mass audience via radio signal technology.
two-way communication: information exchanged with feedback among people, aka one-to-one or face-to-face.
Web: a system of interlinked hypertext documents accessed via the Internet, aka WWW, World Wide Web.
Learn more about broadcasting . . .
- Broadcasting Wikipedia
- Broadcast Jobs Bureau of Labor Statistics
- Broadcast Glossary Wikipedia
- Broadcast History Wikipedia
- Broadcast Network Wikipedia
- Radio Wikipedia
- History of Radio Wikipedia
- Radio Receiver Wikipedia
- AM Broadcasting Wikipedia
- FM Broadcasting Wikipedia
- Shortwave Radio Wikipedia
- Television Wikipedia
- Television Technology Wikipedia
- Electronic Media Wikipedia
- Internet radio Wikipedia
- Internet Television Wikipedia
- Streaming Media Wikipedia
- Timeline of Radio and Television History
- Brief History of Movies, TV and the Web
- Shortwave Radio and the Voice of America
- 90th Anniversary of Commercial Radio
- What Are Radio Stations?
- Television and Film Program Genres
- U.S. Radio Stations USNPL
- U.S. Television Stations USNPL
- How To Write and Shoot For The Web PDF Download Adobe Reader
Resources for Courses »
© 2011 Dr. Anthony Curtis, Mass Communication Dept., University of North Carolina at Pembroke email home page