Anti TV Apartheid

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Zor
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Anti TV Apartheid

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In 1928, experimental electromechanical television broadcasts began broadcasting in the US followed soon there-after by the United Kingdom, as did a few other countries. In 1935, a transition has begun to purely electornic sets (first developed by Kenjiro Takayanagi in 1926) had begun and Hitler made a big show of broadcasting TV footage of the Olympics in '36. The BBC began regular broadcasts in 1936. The USSR began Electronic TV broadcasting in 1938 in Moscow. Adoption at this point was still slow and were further delayed or set back by the Second World War, with only the US running regular broadcasts throughout the war (and even then at a reduced level), but picked up afterwards. In Japan (a nation recovering from the devastation of the War who had a long way to recover) regular broadcasting began in 1950. In Canada CBC-TV broadcasting started in 1952. In Australia it began in 1956 and in the People's Republic of China TV broadcasting began in '58. In the mid 20th century for most countries television was a goal for a nation to aspire and strive to and to expand upon once they had the capacity. A sign of modernity, economic success, technological advancement and a way to spread it's message to the world. But there was one nation which for a time deliberately opted out.

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The Republic of South Africa under the National Party. Where other nations saw Television as a wonder of the modern world, the deeply conservative South African state saw it as a threat to the Culture of White South Africans and to Apartheid. Prime Minister Verwoerd (also known as the architect of Apartheid) compared it to the Atomic Bomb and Poison Gas as something that's modern but undesirable. More vocal against the policy was this guy...

Albert Hertzog, Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Broadcasts. He was firmly against the implementation of Television as parents could not control what they're children watched on TV and that the importation of Television from other countries would be conducive to communism, race mixing and anti-segregationist sentiment. This guy was also so reactionary that even the National Party kicked him out in 1969, from which he went on to become part of an Far Right political party. This coincided with the Apollo 11 Moon Landing, which unlike Canadians, Australians or Japanese South Africans could not see in the comfort of their own home. It served as a rallying cry for those people in South Africa who wanted Television to come to their nation to push for change. Programs were announced in 1971, but it would take another five years before the South African Broadcasting Corporation would begin TV broadcasts on January 5th, 1976.


A notable fact about this was that there was never a period of black and white television in South Africa, as broadcasting began well after color had become common and the South African Government figured that it was better to make the standard going in and not to bother with obsolete set ups. When the broadcasting started, the stores were stocked with color sets.

In general this was a remarkable manifestation of Social Conservatism and one of more notable cases in which the "we don't want the new thing" attitude manifested itself.

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Darth Yan
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Re: Anti TV Apartheid

Post by Darth Yan »

Indeed. Fascinating stuff
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