Chelmsford and 100 years of broadcasting

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 The famous hut in Writtle where 2MT – and broadcasting - was born
– now relocated to Chelmsford’s Sandford Mill Museum

Broadcasting has evolved



Online TV means that you can order up just about anything to watch that has ever been broadcast - and much more besides - at any time.


The battle between the old world of broadcasting using time schedules and the new world of “video on demand” is being (has already been?) won by video on demand (eg YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer etc).

There are a few subjects like sport and news that have any relevance to scheduled or timed delivery; but the name of the game remains “media”.  The term is used liberally these days, yet only rarely does anyone pause to contemplate its context or definitions.

A more accurate term is “medium” – but now “media” generally refers to something that is used to join together a content creator/distributor (broadcaster) and audience. It includes print, radio, TV and latterly online or “digital”. In commercial terms, media is generally the means to connect advertiser and sales prospect. The fact that the BBC remains licence-fee funded and free from advertising is nearly unique in global media – certainly on the scale at which the BBC operates.

Loosely speaking, anything that puts advertising in front of an audience is “media”; so maybe the BBC is not? Notwithstanding the priceless (in both senses) promotion it offers to new media companies like Google, Skype, FaceBook and Twitter through endless acknowledgements and product placement.

Also we need to point out that social media is regarded by many as an evolved form of broadcasting.  FaceBook, YouTube, Twitter and others are now all “broadcasting” content. The BBC now conducts many interviews around the world using Skype and other video conference software on phones and computers – no longer relying on £250k outside broadcast units.

Anyone can do it. Chelmsford could easily have its own online TV service - technology has made a nonsense of formally regulated  broadcasting. The battleground is the programme guide and the payment method; and especially the sale of a "commercially profiled" audience to advertisers.

There are vast new media companies like FaceBook and Google who have destabilised traditional media and can easily afford to get involved and sponsor showcases to help create a destination in conjunction with Chelmsford’s broadcast heritage.

Chelmsford 2022 should not dwell exclusively on history and heritage. There is plenty of scope to demonstrate that considerable innovation in broadcasting is still possible, and there are some Essex businesses involved.




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