NMSAT :: Networked Music & SoundArt Timeline

1923 __ Radiojournal & Radioslavia
Comment : Regular broadcasting started in Czechoslovakia on May 18, 1923, in Prague. It was supported by a vibrant manufacturing community which produced a wide variety of radios. (Barry Mishkind, “The Broadcast Archives”, [http://www.oldradio.com/ www.oldradio.com])The first attempts at radio broadcasting in Czechoslovakia began before the First World War, and continued after the war ended. The first radio programme, made up of words and music, was broadcast on October 28th, 1919 from the telegraph station at Prague's Petrin lookout tower. Regular radio broadcasts began on May 18th 1923, from the now legendary tent in Prague-Kbely, and at first lasted just one hour per day. All the programmes - news and musical productions - were broadcast live. The country's broadcasting pioneers were the journalist Milos Ctrnacty, the businessman Eduard Svoboda, and Ladislav Sourek, director of Radioslavia - the company that distributed radio receivers. These three men created a company called Radiojournal, which was majority owned by Radioslavia. Radiojournal became Czechoslovakia's first radio operator after receiving permission from the Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Post and Telegraphs. In the beginning it was difficult to find licence payers, and capital es- sential for developing the broadcasts was also lacking. The situation gradually began to improve, but in 1925 the state gained a majority share in Radiojournal via the Ministry of Post and Telegraphs. 1924 saw the first appearance of the Czech equivalent of the word "broadcasting" ("rozhlas"), which began to replace such expressions as "radiophony", "wireless telegraphy and telephony" and even the English expression "broadcasting". In 1924 Radiojournal moved into a building owned by the post office at 58 Foch 4 Street in the centre of Prague. The station has remained in the same street to this day, and in 1933 was given a permanent headquarters at 12 Foch Street (today's Vinohradska Street). The building, called the "Radio Palace," was built by the Post and Telegraphs Ministry, which shared the building with Radiojournal until 1945. From the beginning the facade bore the inscription "Czechoslovak Radio", even though the official name was "Radiojournal - Czechoslovak Radiotelephone News, Limited Liability Company." Radio waves know no borders. From the very beginning Radiojournal's "domestic" broadcasts could also be received abroad, and foreign stations could be picked up in Czechoslovakia. And reception was also easier, because the spectrum of radio frequencies was not yet crowded with hundreds of stations as it is today. Special programmes - lectures in Esperanto - were soon created, tailored for a foreign audience. The first was broadcast in January 1924, and the lectures were informative: important events held in Prague, important anniversaries and so on. At the end of 1925 a new broadcasting station in Prague-Stranice was opened, built by General Electric. Its output of 5kW made it one of the most powerful radio transmitters in Europe at the time. Radiojournal used the transmitter for experimental long-distance broadcasts. Letters sent by listeners confirmed that concerts broadcast on medium wave from the Strasnice transmitter were picked up as far away as North America. 1926 saw the first broadcasts of foreign language lectures about Czechoslovakia. These were initially in English and French, later followed by German, and concerned more contemporary issues than the Esperanto programmes. The lectures followed Thursday evening's regular "domestic" broadcasts and were intended for listeners in Europe. The mid-1920s also saw the creation of a programme for Czechoslovak expatriates, broadcast on Wednesday evenings. (Miroslav Krupička)
Urls : http://www.radio.cz/en/static/history-of-radio-prague/the-beginnings-of-radio-broadcasting-in-czechoslovakia (last visited )

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