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Relay Women: Isa Benzie, Janet Quigley and the BBC’s Foreign Department, 1930–38.

Murphy, K., 2019. Relay Women: Isa Benzie, Janet Quigley and the BBC’s Foreign Department, 1930–38. Feminist Media Histories, 5 (3), 114 - 139.

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DOI: 10.1525/fmh.2019.5.3.114


Between 1926 and 1938, the Foreign Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) played a central role in transnational broadcasting. Initially headed by a man, Major C. F. Atkinson, it would grow to become largely the domain of women. Starting in 1933, at the helm was Isa Benzie, an Oxford graduate who had joined the BBC in 1927 as Atkinson's secretary. Realizing her potential, he trained and encouraged her to deputize for him, and she was his natural successor when he resigned his post. In 1930, on Benzie's recommendation, her great friend Janet Quigley was recruited to the department. Together they oversaw international relays—the exchange of programs between different countries of the world. Benzie oversaw Europe, and Quigley, the United States. The two women operated in an area that was overwhelmingly peopled by men, and this article considers the significance of their work at a time when the gendering of broadcasting roles was the norm.

Item Type:Article
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Uncontrolled Keywords:BBC; broadcasting; interwar; transnational; women;
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:32552
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:19 Jul 2019 13:50
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:17


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