In the second half of the twentieth century television has become the primary focus of discussions about the role of the mass media in society. The reason lies in the specific character of the medium; its immediacy, universality, and placing within the domestic environment. It has also combined and developed other forms of cultural and social communication, particularly the popular cinema, journalism and advertising. Sound broadcasting acted as both a stimulus and a deterrent to this development. Observers in the 1920s recognised the potential power of a combination of pictures and sound transmitted into the home and in some cases they actively encouraged research. They were also aware of the technical and financial problems, particularly at a time when sound broadcasting still had to be established as a viable form of social communication.
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