Chapter Eight


Piracy on the airwaves is a form of anarchy.

—Hugh Jenkins, president of the Labour Communications Committee (UK), 1966

The BBC: now enjoying an international reputation, the British Broadcasting Corporation has long been the sworn enemy of a series of illegal companies previously known as “pirate radio stations.”1 The first radio broadcasts created a new, uncharted territory for capitalism to expand into. While in the aftermath of World War I, “the media experienced immense popularity, … most of its basic principles—its technical characteristics, its daily use, its standards, its regulations and perhaps, above all, its entire economy—remained to be determined.”2

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