Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Alistair Cooke on American TV, 1951

I guess I meant to say "Alistair Cooke, from 1951, speaking of American TV in those days":

Alistair Cooke might be best known to Americans as the longtime host of Masterpiece Theatre, on PBS. In England, he was a radio journalist for over sixty years.

When he died in 2004, BBC News began re-running his earlier talks. What was once news is now fascinating history.

Letter from America, Early days of Television. Alistair describes the TV programmes that were available in 1950s America. This Letter was originally heard on the BBC Home Service in January, 1951, and rebroadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Friday, 9 April, 2004.

You can read it or hear it (audio link just to the right, on that page), or both.

The description of the weather program is especially interesting, for such things having been new and also for the size of the U.S. to be so exotic to listeners in the U.K.

Here's a quote from the section about the possible effects on children:
I know what's educational but I don't think that's necessarily the same thing as what is good or bad.


There are links to others of the shows there. Thank you, Schuyler Waynforth, for this item.

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