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With God on our side: a comparative study of religious broadcasting in the USA and the UK 1921-1995: the impact of personality.

Robertson, I., 2020. With God on our side: a comparative study of religious broadcasting in the USA and the UK 1921-1995: the impact of personality. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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ROBERTSON, Ian_Ph.D._2020.pdf



The aim of the study is to examine the extent to which the personality of key individuals not regulators, or churches or governments, contributed to the impact of religious broadcasting. In order to put this in context, the thesis will first sketch the backdrop of mass communications and the development of broadcasting within it, as well as the religious influences of the era and models of personality, whilst also undertaking a comparative examination of religious broadcasting in the USA and the UK from 1921 to 1995; years indicative of the commencement of religious broadcasting in the USA and in terms of the latter, the introduction of the first licenced Christian Radio Station in the UK. It will highlight the historical and legislative context in which this genre of broadcasting evolved and the pioneers who took to the stage and became household names. Equally the research will illustrate the differing programming styles and programme makers of the US and the UK and the organisations that grew up around them to make the broadcasts possible. The thesis will take a macro view of broadcasting in this period, in order to highlight the significant role of personalities in the formation and development of religious broadcasting. So as broadcasting in the UK moves from a monopoly status controlled by the BBC, to adopt and add a commercial environment similar to the USA, the thesis will examine the impact this has on the style and content of religious broadcasting. The research will also trace the battles that some religious groups in the UK fought to gain the sort of access to religious broadcasting experienced in the USA, whilst others resisted such opportunities. It will highlight the significance of the 1990 Broadcasting Act, with its lighter touch regulation, thus opening the first possibility for religious groups to own and run radio stations. Audiences in broadcasting are of real importance in terms of size and demographics and the study will look at the nature and dynamics of the audiences for religious broadcasting and what similarities and differences there were between the USA and the UK. Finally, in order to crystallise the issues outlined, the thesis will create two case studies of Christian broadcasting programmes, one from the USA and one from the UK, looking at their governance, structures, programme styles, funding, on air personalities and their relative audiences. It is hoped this will reveal something, in these two tangible examples, of the personality dimension in this unique area of religious broadcasting, as it existed in the USA and here in the UK, during the 20th Century.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:religious broadcasting
Group:Faculty of Media & Communication
ID Code:34841
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:17 Nov 2020 15:20
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:25


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