Global Innovators: Broadcasting to Digital Technologies

This position supports a research project on the changes in the communication technologies from broadcasting to digital technologies by examining the global innovators. This work will investigate the core elements of the people who were at the centre of the last century of communication technologies’ transformation. This research will focus on the catalysts of conversion from one medium to the next from broadcasting to the various visual technologies to the modern-day users of the all-encompassing digital technologies. Starting with archived interviews with the men and women of the early days of broadcasting who pioneered radio in to the contemporary users and innovators of digital technologies, student research interns will examine the role of these innovators on a global level starting with Canada and moving on to countries such as India, China, U.S.A., United Kingdom, Australia, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Vietnam. These commercial and public broadcasters were, in those early days, the founders and adopters of new technologies, playing a role in introducing the world’s audiences to awe-inspiring technologies that had not existed prior. As early trendsetters in broadcasting, they were often professionally trained in radio and wireless communication as well as entertainers, skilled in the art of showmanship and entertainment in order to generate and maintain audiences. They were not only the visionaries giving voice to new technologies but acted as the medium that connected people through the technology, instilling an essence that allows people to connect through the technology still existing today. Today, many of these technologies and techniques from the past generations are still being used by contemporary broadcasters.
The early years of the project’s focus is supported by the interviews conducted with broadcasting pioneers collected and archived in the Canadian Communication Foundation Fonds and the Kenneth Bambrick Fonds in the Library and Archives Canada. Having a range of interviews from different time periods and regions allows for a content and critical discourse analysis of the various regional and temporal perspectives. The student research interns will focus on various aspects of this research such as discovering archival sources available worldwide. These sources will allow for an examination of the many media including radio, television, and digital media. Students will be able to conduct interviews with contemporary innovators to compare this groundbreaking sense that continues to pervade this industry. The student research intern will have the flexibility to choose between conducting interviews with the contemporary broadcasters or technological innovators from all over the world so a language in addition to English would be an asset, working with the archived materials to document and track the different perspectives, and analyzing the content of the contemporary interviews and placing them with a historical, contemporary, technological and global context.

Faculty Supervisor:

Anne MacLennan





Journalism / Media studies and communication



York University



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