This article investigates a series of experimental television broadcasts undertaken by Italian Fascism’s national broadcasting entity, the Ente Italiano per le Audizioni Radiofoniche, in the years leading up to the Second World War. It explores both the official autarchical policies and the technological limitations that shaped the radio network’s early experiments with television to show that producers’ attitudes regarding medium specificity shaped decisions about programming and musical content. It then suggests that these early sorties into televisual broadcasting left traces that can be seen in the style and political clout of Italian television even today.
From Radio to Radio-visione: Italian Radio’s Television Experiments, 1939–1940
Danielle Simon is a postdoctoral fellow at the Dartmouth Society of Fellows. She is a former fellow of the American Academy in Rome (2016–2017) and received her doctorate in musicology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2020. Her research interests include emerging media technologies and musical performance, particularly opera, and radio broadcasting during the years of Fascism in Italy. Her current book project examines transnational radio broadcasts from Italy to the United States and Latin America during and after the Fascist period.
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Danielle Simon; From Radio to Radio-visione: Italian Radio’s Television Experiments, 1939–1940. Representations 29 July 2020; 151 (1): 1–25. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2020.151.1.1
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